The day is done

Nor'wester (Springdale) - - EDITORIAL - Ed Smith

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.