The day is done
If you haven’t wished your significant other a happy Valentine’s Day yet, you’re a mite late.
Valentine’s Day is long gone now, both in spirit and in word. If you haven’t done what you should have done already, it’s too late to do it now. Them’s the rules governing this celebration.
You do know who Valentine was, don’t you? He was the dude who forgot about Valentine’s, birthday, anniversary and Labour Day, and ended up in divorce court. In fact, he got the boot twice because he forgot them all with his new girlfriend as well.
“Don’t know what happened,” he says as he takes a spoonful of cold beans from a Libby’s can. “I did everything in the world for that woman. Actually, for the two of ’em. Sometimes I’d get her a dozen beer and a snack box of KFC to tide her over the long weekend until I got back from the cabin party on Sunday night. Women don’t appreciate nothing.”
He closes his eyes and hums a line from “Put Another Log on the Fire.”
I forgot our anniversary only once in my life. Forgot is the wrong word. Let’s just say the date and its significance (it was our 25th) sort of slipped my mind for a crucial few months.
Shortly after, OH met an old girlfriend of mine who knew us both very well. She had the bad timing to ask what we had done for the big 25th. The truth came out and OH told her I had scheduled another event for that night that did not include her.
The ex proceeded to tell OH that her husband had taken her for a Caribbean cruise on their 25th. Then she turned and delivered the coup de grâce to my peace of mind for all time: “Glad you got him, and not me.”
At that moment, OH did not share her joy.
Everyone recognizes that the greeting card people have us over one hell of a huge barrel, and that barrel is bursting at the hoops with dollars, dollars, dollars.
The advertising leads us to believe that if we don’t buy a beautiful big card for whatever occasion — mothers, sweethearts, secret loves, puppy dogs and pussycats — we are terrible children, horrible lovers (secret and otherwise), and abusers of animals. We will pay through the nose or any other orifice — wallets, bank accounts, pockets — to keep from being labelled terrible “sons and lovers” (the D.H. Lawrence novel about mothers and sons and fathers has nothing to do with any of this. Sorry.)
All that being said, I have to confess that I really enjoy getting Christmas cards. I notice when a card from last year is not returned and then I have to find out what happened and if they’re all right. Staying in touch with friends is a beautiful thing.
Every month or so, for the past 19 years, I’ve received a card from a lovely lady who used to be my student. It just says “Thinking of you.” She has no idea what those cards do for me, but she keeps sending them. I owe her and her beautiful family a great deal.
So greeting card companies are making a fortune off our love and affections, but what the hell. We are reaping a much greater fortune in just using their cards to say “Thinking of you” and lifting the spirits of someone close a mile high.
I know there are many who cannot afford up to a hundred bucks to mail Christmas cards to a lifetime of friends. And there are those who balk at three to five dollars for a Valentine’s card. And let’s not forget those who simply have no desire to be involved in that humbug and claptrap as a matter of principle. “Don’t believe it cards myself” — bless ’em.
Last but by no means least are those who treasure above all else a signature or small decoration from a child’s hand. The same may be true for sons and lovers. Aha! Finally, a connection with Brother Lawrence — though perhaps a bit tenuous.
A final thought for Valentine’s Days to come: there’s room for all preferences, all tastes and all opinions. There is probably understanding for them all, too, except one — forgetting.
I speak from painful experience.
Every month or so, for the past 19 years, I’ve received a card from a lovely lady who used to be my student. It just says “Thinking of you.”
She has no idea what those cards do for me, but she keeps sending them. I owe her and her beautiful family a great deal.