Valentine’s Day

In 1987 I was writing a column for a now-defunct weekly paper. It did not bring fame and fortune, but I had this to say about that at the time:

Dear Ralph,
Call me a sentimental swine, but Valentine’s Day, celebrating what I consider to be the finest emotion which we as a species are capable of expressing, is my favorite holiday. Not because it is less expensive than Christmas, or less fattening than Thanksgiving, but because in honoring Love I honor the person who has taught me what I know about the subject: my wife.

Of course, when I was young and single, gobbling up pseudo-surrealistic Romantic Myths and tears-in-the-beers torch songs, I considered myself to be something of an expert. I now know I didn’t know doodley-squat.

The reality, the Truth, of facing each day side by side and hand in hand with someone who fills you with passion and compassion, affection and respect and trust that just keeps on growing through the proverbial thick and thin, . .whew.

The difference being, when you are caught up in the Myths, you are still thinking primarily of yourself. When the Real McCoy comes along, the focus is on the other person.

I suppose every couple, in their tender moments, gets the feeling that they have discovered something new and beautiful and unique that no one ever felt before; in a sense, they have. The fun and the challenge is to keep that feeling.

I could make a list of reasons why I love my wife, if I had the space and time. What has me stumped is trying to figure out what she sees in ME. Not that it matters, as long as she keeps seeing it.
It may be disgustingly corny, but I sort of like to make every day Valentine’s Day. Not in a big way, like flowers and candy (that would get expensive) , but just doing little things to let her know how I feel. Of course, I’m far from perfect, and don’t always get it done, but it must be working, because I keep catching her doing little things back.

You? If it’s actually possible, you are even more of a sentimental swine than me. And while I’ve had only limited opportunities to get to know your wife, I have it on good authority that she “knows how to handle” you. So, since this old world needs all the beautiful and unique relationships it can get, here’s wishing y’all a Happy Valentine’s Day – everyday.
Love,
your brother

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