The Bells and Whistles of Valentines Day

Sorry, girls! He is mine!

Tonight my husband and I have a night planned of quiet, grilled steaks, and college basketball.  No, it isn’t the bells and whistles that some people expect on Valentines Day.  It is where we are.  We are grateful we’re just together on this traditional day of celebrating love.

It also takes me back to some of my Valentines Day memories.  Oh, the excitement of shoeboxes being transformed into heart emblazoned mailboxes.  Everyone gave everyone in our class a valentine and the world was a happy place as we delivered them to.  Sometimes a sucker was included to top of the “Be Mine” sentiment.  Then we would take them home and wear them out looking at them.

In high school we had Twirp Week.  The gals drew the guys names and vice versa.  We were to secretly send notes and little gifts all week with a reveal on the last day.  You would sign the notes with an alias.  This was either the greatest fun in the world or the most awkward experience ever, depending on the luck of the draw.   As a shy freshman, I can remember getting quite creative notes from The Green Hornet that made me blush redder than red.  (Hmmmm…So Green Hornet, if you read this, did you ever wonder if  I could have saved said letters and when you least expect it …..well, revenge can be sweet!)  Some years I made out like a bandit.  Nevertheless, I had more fun making sure I was a great twirp for someone than what I received.   This was far from romance, but the giving was great fun.

Then marriage came.  For the first few years, I got nada, zip, zero.  Disappointed I was, but not mad.  Valentines Day rolled around again and I proclaimed to the girls I worked with that even though I had never gotten anything from Cliff, this year I would.  “How do you know?” came the response.  Well, Cliff had pneumonia.  I knew he was to see the doctor that day, who would in turn give him a prescription.  He would have to walk past the merchandising extravaganza in the pharmacy to get his drugs.  He is Mr. Impulse Buy, so I knew I was set.  When I got home, I had a giant card with an ape face on it, 2 smaller cards, chocolates and a stuffed bear.   It’s amazing how you figure someone out the longer you live with them.

On the flip-side, one year he was working out-of-town, so I wasn’t expecting a thing.  The first  heart shaped gigantic balloon I had ever seen and flowers were delivered to the classroom I was working in.  I was floored! It was very windy day, so I will never forget taking it home.  I almost got a free flight to Oklahoma.  So, maybe he is more of a mystery than I thought.  He had been creative, cutting edge and sneaky.

For the life of me, I can not remember what I have given him, except for one very creative card I made.  I know I have, but the memories are gone.  I am not sure what that means, but it’s just kind of interesting.

One year I took on the enterprise of selling bouquets of silk roses.  The deal was I would deliver a dozen that had been scented with a card to wherever the payee designated.   It was wildly successful.  Unfortunately I contracted blood poisoning through a cut on my hand and had streaks up my arm in route to my heart.  Cliff stepped to the FTD plate and began a delivering adventure.  In the feed pickup, he froze the 11 miles to town with the windows down because I had gotten carried away with the rose scent which was making him gag.  In cowboy gear and 4 buckle overshoes, Mr. Rose Parade delivered dozens of these to the hospital, school, out in the country on extremely muddy roads, and anywhere else I had promised to go.  What a guy! I started to think that maybe this was what romance was all about.

Through the years I have become humbled by the love this guy is constantly showing me and our family.  He is so selfless and would do anything for us, no matter how cold, hot, dirty, or tired he is.

In the old version of Yours, Mine, and Ours” with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, Henry talks about how love is not the ooey, gooey feelings (my paraphrase, as I can’t remember the 60’s lingo he actually used.  I think he said  ‘it’s  not everyday being a love-in’, but it is in the everyday-the cooking, the laundry, the living real life and if its still wonderful-that’s love.   A quiet evening with grilled steaks and college basketball ranks is the stuff that makes this girl’s knees weak.

God knew what he was doing when he allowed a frisbee fly in front of my car in front of the Ben Franklin store in downtown Medicine Lodge.   I drove by the cute guy in the Kansas City Royals baseball cap, who retrieved it and I admit I took a second look in my rearview mirror.   What is still amazing is that he was looking back at me!

Love ya, my Sweet Baboo


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