Manolo says, it is the Day of San Valentine and you are back at your desk thinking it is the no big deal. Although, as you say this to yourself, you know perfectly well that if your man fails to come across with the goods this evening the day will end on the note of sourness.
And what are these “goods” of which you speak?
If you were honest with yourself, you would say the absolute best would be the hand-written letter of love, in which your husband of many years produces poetry which will rival that of the Robert Herrick.
But, it seems unlikely that the same man who yesterday changed the oil on your car and then spent six hours on the couch in the basement watching college basketball, would be suddenly graced with greatness by the immortal muses.
Indeed, somewhere in the attic, secreted away in your chest of treasures, reside the examples of Gary’s previous poetic efforts, written when you were both young and in the first flush of love. As you recall, the word “forsooth” figures prominently in them.
And so, as the years have progressed, you have readjusted the definition of the “goods” downward, in inverse proportion to gifts required for the anniversary of the wedding. In anniversary terms, the first year is paper, the fiftieth is gold. In Valentine’s Day terms, the first is florid original poetry hand-written on parchment, the fiftieth is that he remembers your name as he gums his heart-shaped bowl of tapioca.
You are now at the stage midway between these two poles, which means that if Gary wishes to remain in good odor, he will fork over the large card into which he has handwritten the words “I Love You”, along with the box of decent chocolate and/or the bouquet of roses. He will then complete the evening with the dinner at the House of the Outback Steak, where he not wait for dessert to express his undying love to you, but will utter such words no latter than the moment when the remains of the Blooming Onion are cleared away.
And so it is written, and so it shall be.
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