I’ve always been kind of 50/50 on my feelings about Valentine’s Day. Up until about fourth grade, I liked it. I went to the same school for 3 years, so I had a lot of friends and got lots of Valentines in my basket. When we moved away, and I switched schools in fifth grade, that ended. Being the new kid, I didn’t get many Valentines (but I had a wonderful teacher who made sure I got some special ones from her). In sixth grade, the Valentine Day thing pretty much ended for a few years.
Valentine’s Day in high school was really awkward. Apparently, there was an unwritten rule – impress, but don’t embarrass, either by under or over impressing. At the same time, don’t draw unwanted attention to the recipient of your Valentine affections, but, make sure you draw enough attention so they don’t feel unnoticed. It’s important to do all of this while completely remaining suave and debonair, of course. A guy is supposed to be a true Casanova at fourteen years old. No cracking voice. No volcanic acne episodes or really bad haircuts. And above all, don’t get nervous and sweat like a lawn sprinkler while slow dancing at the Valentine’s Day school dance! See what I mean about awkward?
Since getting married, Valentine’s Day has been a lot easier. My wife tells me what she’d like and, if I smart, I do my best to find it; usually a card, some kind of good chocolate and maybe dinner – simple. I can handle that. We have two sons. For them, I just make sure they remember their mom on Valentine’s Day and all is well in the house. I started feeling like a Valentine pro; until my daughter came along.
I don’t know what it is about having a little girl that makes me willing to make crazy promises. I guess it’s the way she smiles when I tell her I’ll get her the perfect Valentine. One year, that involved spending hours searching on line and making phone calls to locate a very rare Godiva Teddy Bear holding a bag of Godiva Chocolate Truffles. It turns out they had one such bear at Ross Park Mall near Pittsburgh. I got them to hold it for me by prepaying for it. I got lost on my way to the mall, as usual, and a one hour trip turned into an all day adventure with detours and bad directions. However, my mission was successful and I returned home with the perfect Valentine.
They say true love is an unconditional kind of love; the kind that would give all to prove itself. That kind of love is hard to reciprocate. How could you respond in kind to the perfect Valentine? Maybe the best response is to simply accept and appreciate the gift. I can think of one such perfect Valentine:
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