Beware the Ides of February kids, and remember the Man in your youth, or the crap that you done back then will bite you in the arse. That’s Shakespeare, right there, he wrote the Bible, so he knows a few things about love.
Fathom my surprise when upon looking at the little kitty calendar that resides upon my refrigerator I realized today is Valentine's Day. The day of love and romance, and little bitty pieces of candy that say things like “Be Mine” and “True Love” and “Don’t Forget To Take Out The Trash, You Bozo!”
It is a day that brings up cursing for me. For when I was but young, and foolish, I thought the day was special and treated it as such. These were the days before marriage, when I was but courting my sweet, precious wife, and we lived miles apart – her being in graduate school in Indiana, and me working diligently in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
During those days of yore, I was unable to be with my sweet, dear one for the big day of love and mushiness, nor would I even be able to visit for the few weeks before or after. It was then that I hatched a plan so romantical, the world would never believe it.
I created the Fourteen Days of Valentine. No, one day just wasn’t enough for the likes of me and my baby. I would give her one gift every day starting on the First of February and lasting until St. Valentine himself puked up a lung.
All though January I worked upon my secret romancings. I arrived at her doorstep a few days before February loaded with fourteen boxes, all carefully marked with the appropriate day for her to open. She was surprised and elated and I believed I was set for life.
I gave typical gifts: chocolate, cards with sweet nothings engraved upon it’s side.
I gave interesting gifts: mix tapes with the greatest, most romantic songs ever written, a Robert Frost poem attached to a bouquet of roses.
I gave gifts of great romance: a little card with the words “I love you” written on it and a note saying that now, no matter how far apart we were, she’d always have my love. Then there was the sweetest poem by Lewis Carroll about kisses, placed in a lovely crushed velvet box full of chocolate kisses.
She loved it, and declared me the greatest lover in the history of great lovers. It was a glorious time to be in love. I knew I had nothing to worry about for the rest of our relationship.
Or so I thought.
The next year came, and there she was expecting more grandiose romanticism. “Where are my Fourteen Days of Valentine?” she asked. “Where are my poems, my songs, my flowers?”
It’s been six years since I gave her those gifts, and I have yet to hear the end of it. I will never live up to those two weeks. If I live to be a hundred and twenty, she’ll still be asking me about the Fourteen Days. No dinner, or jewelry will ever quite match those two weeks back then.
So, my advice goes out to all you out there who are enthralled with the mysteries of St. Valentine, to all of those courting that one special someone. My advice to you is to dine at the Olive Garden and rent a Meg Ryan movie and be done with it. Anything else just isn’t worth it.
You’ll thank me in years to come.