Snickers and roses

By Clint Younts

Well, did all y’all have a nice, romantic Valentine’s Day? If you did, I’m betting you’re still single and got a sweetheart. Or perhaps you are in the first decade of marriage, because somewhere down the line, in many homes, Valentine’s Day has become just another holiday for Hallmark to sell overpriced cards. I recall, just barely, celebrating Valentine’s Day back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but once the price of a card became more than my hourly wage and a dozen roses was worth more than a tank of gas, I figured it was getting too costly to be romantic. 

I could say something corny like “Every day is Valentine’s Day in my house”, but the truth is, at my ripe age, each day is more like April Fool’s Day. Every morning I wake up and discover nature has played another joke on my decrepit body. I’ve toyed with the idea of making a game called Body Ache Bingo. Every morning, you look to see if your new aching joint is on your card, and the first one to Bingo gets a bottle of Metamucil.

I’m not sure when we stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day. I used to buy my sweetie a box of chocolate, knowing she was on a diet and would only eat one piece. Then I would get to have the rest of the candy for myself. I used to buy her a bottle of wine, but after a glass or two, we’re both snoozing in front of the TV, missing the second half of Hill Street Blues. If you’re wondering if I ever bought her any jewelry, I did once. Gave it to her right after saying “I do”. Yep, I’m a real romantic fella.

I’m betting many of you men out there are on the same raft I’m paddling. You think about buying something for your wife for Valentine’s Day, even though for years, she has been telling you not to get her anything. Then, when you come home with a 6-pack of beer and a package of beef jerky and plop yourself in your recliner to watch the Olympics, you notice it’s gotten real quiet in the house.

So, if your wife tells you one thing but you don’t do as she asks, you’re in trouble. And if she tells you something not to do something, but you do it anyway, you get in even more trouble. You bring home a box of expensive chocolate, and she throws the heart-shaped box at you, yelling “You know swimsuit season is just two months away!” So, the next year, you thoughtfully bring home a bag of celery and carrots and end up sleeping in the hay barn for two nights. Go figure!

Since the local florist still doesn’t sell anything less than a tank of gas, I thought I’d get her some flowers from another source. Since when did they start locking the front gate at the cemetery? There was a time when a man could get a slightly brown bouquet of roses without ripping his britches scaling a fence.

I recall buying a necklace from a discount jewelry store once during a rather warm February. I tossed the necklace on the dash of my truck while I went to rehydrate at a local establishment. How was I to know those weren’t real pearls? I guess I should’ve known Dollar Tree doesn’t sell real pearl necklaces. Never could scrape that glob off my dash.

So, if you’re wondering how my Valentine’s Day went, well, it was just fine and dandy. I sat and watched the Olympics while eating some candy left over from Halloween and sipping a fine box wine while my wife shopped for jewelry on Amazon. I dozed off during the bobsledding event, and I woke up on Tuesday with a peculiar ache in my right hip. Bingo!

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