A Perfect Valentine
About a week before Valentine's Day, my darling Girlfriend and I were talking on the phone about how neither of us had a clue about what to get the other in honor of the annual February bacchanalia of hearts, chocolate, and the color pink. I don't know how truly stressed she was feeling about the lack of ideas, but I was an anxious wreck this year. V-Day has always felt like a trial to me, a minefield seemingly designed to trip up well-meaning but clueless guys who just don't have the ingenuity to measure up to the nebulous feminine concept that is "romance." Guys like me, in other words, at least when it comes to socially mandated displays of romance such as, say, a holiday dedicated to the idea. And those mines seem to get closer together with every passing year, too, increasing the chances that one of these Valentine's Days, inevitably, I will step in the wrong place and lose a leg. Every February 1st, I begin the month thinking, "Good lord, how am I supposed to top that one year when I actually managed to get everything right? And didn't I just go through all this with Christmas a few weeks ago?" You see, it was drilled into my head eons ago that V-Day is supposed to be a big deal to women, and god be with the man who gets it wrong.
So I was taken completely aback when I heard Anne saying, "Why don't we just forget Valentine's this year?"
"What?" I stammered. This was an unexpected development.
"No, I mean it. I enjoy the cute little teddy bears and the flowers and all, but really, what good are they? You display them for a couple days, then they go into a box or get thrown out. It's all really pretty silly."
"Ooooookay." I had all my antennae up at this point, scanning to see if the Bothans had gotten it wrong and the superlaser was, in fact, fully operational.
"I know you love me," she continued. "You show me all the time."
And just like that, all the tension evaporated. On the big day itself, while other men were spending half a week's pay on roses and fancy dinners that require reservations and clean shirts, Anne and I exchanged cards -- this holiday is largely an invention of the Hallmark company, after all -- and then we went to the mall for corn dogs.
Yep, I love that girl all right...