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Lessons on Valentine's Day

Early 20th century Valentine's Day card, showi...
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Picture me in third grade, roller skating with a certain someone special. Yummy Boy Billy is shorter than I am, but he is an awesome skater, and we are zooming around the rectangular gymnasium to The Bay City Rollers’ (what else?) “Saturday Night.” Suddenly, Yummy Boy decides to cross his right skate over his left on the turn. He falls, dragging me down with him. I was wearing my favorite pair of Levis, and they tore at the knee. I was so pissed. It was over before it started.

Fast forward to high school, a much beloved boyfriend got me one of those Cabbage Patch dolls for Valentine’s Day. Had I asked for a Cabbage Patch doll? No. Those suckers were creepy. (Still are.) But he gave me one, and in exchange for his gift, I gave him tongue. ‘Nuff said.

In college, I dated a guy who insisted that Valentine’s Day was an excuse for capitalist pigs to convince the masses they needed to buy ridiculous items to convince their companions of their undying love. Yeah, he was a cheap bastard. Our first Valentine’s Day together, he bought me a slice of pizza. For our second Valentine’s Day, he bought me a pencil with a heart eraser on the end of it. (Was he frickin’ kidding me?) For our third Valentine’s day, he bought me a fish tank. Why? Because he wanted fish. Still, it was better than nothing, and the bubbler turned out to be a lovely, relaxing way to fall asleep. We stayed together for one more year (what was I thinking?) but I believe things actually ended on or near Valentine’s Day, so he found a way to get out of that rather nicely. Oh, and when things went south, the fish tank stayed with him. Nice.

My knight riding a white ass.

Husband is much better at Valentine’s Day. When we were in the “I-so-want-to-impress-this-woman” phase of our relationship, he made an amazing dinner at his friend Brian’s house. (Okay, maybe Brian made the dinner, but I’m sure Husband helped). We ate escargot and filet mignon and a green salad. And we drank wine. It should be noted that this was around the time that I punted a wineglass across Hubby’s living room floor causing it to smash against a wall into a zillion little pieces and, as an added bonus, coat the wall in a fabulous shade of blood-red. You would think someone would have thought to hand me a plastic glass, but no. That was the Valentine’s Day that I smashed an irreplaceable wine glass (hand blown in Germany and borrowed from Brian’s mother) against Brian’s stereo. (For all you young’uns out there, a stereo is a device we old folks used to use to play our music.) Anyway, Hubby wasn’t mad at me. Brian’s mother probably was, but Hubby made me feel okay about being human.

Over the years, Hubby has brought me flowers and made me breakfast. We’ve gone skiing, seen concerts, done great dinners. Lots of stuff. I don’t know what we’re doing this year, but Hubby did teach me that I am worth slightly more than the cost of a slice of pizza or a pencil. And for that, I am grateful.

I am also grateful to know that I do not have to work that hard as Hubby is genuinely happy with a bag of York Peppermint Patties – and a little tongue. ‘Nuff said.

21 thoughts on “Lessons on Valentine's Day

  1. Don’t you see how flattering the pencil was? Obviously he recognized your writing ability. “The guy loves me for my mind too.” I thought that was a sure “I’m in now” strategy.

  2. S A T UR D A Y NIGHT! I can totally relate. How many hearts were broken at the roller rink?

    Re: your husband – HECK – I’M happy with a bag of Yorkshire peppermint patties! But don’t tell MY husband!

      1. It’s smokin’ in the kitchen! I don’t know if there’s a conspiracy going on, but both you and Clay have mentioned rollerskating in your posts this past week, which has caused me to flashback to the pain of “snowball” dances, where either no one (or some one) would ask me to dance. The lose-lose situation of adolescence.

  3. Lovely! My husband is also a wonderful gift-giver, and brought home some red roses last night. He’s not even upset that I am dealing with a sick monkey and can’t do much better for him. Very cute post.

  4. My mother used to give us tongue. This horrible looking slab of meat on a fancy plate. My father liked tongue. I swore never to get within 3 feet of one.

    Now I understand why my social life was so limited. I always learn something from you. And your husband is a good sport. If girls had given pizza, it would have worked out better or me.

    1. You know, I have to admit I always liked tongue. Even as a kid. (Oooh, that came out wrong.) I mean the kind you got from the deli, I always liked it; that is until I found out what it was. Then the thrill was gone.

      That is until I learned about the other kind. 😉

      Happy VD, Steve. May your woman bring you an extra-large pizza.

  5. I went all out for VD this year. I sent my wife an instant message several minutes ago that said “happy vd to you from me. (that was your card).” Pretty awesome!

      1. Renee, hubby knows me pretty well – he did the right thing! And I gave him the same thing in return! Spending a bunch of money on a day that “they” say you should show your love for someone is a load of crap. We can show our love for each other on any of the days of the year, and without spending a dime. Just sayin’. Although Peppermint Patties are awesome!

  6. Ewww, the Cabbage Patch dolls! Um yea, the high school boy most definately got the better present! Once I got a bottle of cheap perfume that caused a bronchospasm. I was gasping for air but the young man saw my open mouth as a golden opportunity to engage in some tongue diving. I’m not much into Valentine’s Day but I did post something in honor of my kids. I can’t ruin them totally!

    Great post!

  7. “My knight riding a white ass.” Captioning at its best.

    Before I can fully jump on the lameness bandwagon for the one guy you dated in college, I’ve got to know what type of pizza it was.

    The fish tank reminds me of the time Homer gave Marge a bowling ball with his name inscribed on it.

    Hope you had a great V-Day.

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