Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Larry the Cupid Guy!
Plus six double Reese's peanut butter cups.
Friday, we're going to Boulevard Steakhouse.
What're you and YOUR sweetie's plans??
Today, my wife of seven months realizes something important.
I don't like Valentine's Day. I think it's a complete waste of a holiday. I don't get off work for it, so why should I care?
I'm not sure why we even have Valentine's Day, other than to make floral shops and card shops a little extra money between Christmas and Easter. And let's be honest, if you need a holiday to tell your family you love them, then you're already missing the boat.
So why is it men feel as though they must spend hundreds of dollars every February? Why do chocolates come in heart-shaped boxes just one time a year? Why do Valentine's cards for your wife cost $6, but your grade school-aged child can get 50 cards for a buck?
The answer, primarily, is that men feel guilty for one thing or another. Maybe it's because the only laundry we ever do is when the Mrs. is away and we're out of underwear. Maybe it's because hot meals are ready when we get home, and the cleanup's virtually done by the time we've scarfed the last bite. Maybe it's because our women do so much more for us than we will ever do for them.
Or maybe it's just that women make us feel guilty for many reasons.
I'd vote on the latter if it wouldn't get me in trouble at home.
* * *
I'm a romantic. I love special things for my bride, getting her special gifts, helping her when she least expects it.
The men out there will tell me, "You've only been married seven months. That crap will go away quick, buddy."
And they're probably right.
Nonetheless, I don't find Feb. 14 any more special than Feb. 13 or Feb. 15 or Sept. 22. I will never find it more romantic than Feb. 25, 2006, the day I surprised the love of my life by proposing in front of 200 people, many of whom kept a big secret for weeks leading up to it.
It will never be more important than July 8, 2006, our wedding date.
So I don't rightly know why I should care any more about Feb. 14, 2007, other than it's our first Hallmark Holiday of our married lives together.
Paint me cynical, but giving my love roses on Feb. 14 seems forced and contorted. Trust me when I say I'm not now, nor have I ever been, a member of Cirque du Soleil. I don't bend that way.
Besides, if I spent a couple hundred bucks on flowers, cards and candies, my wife would kick my butt.
* * *
A year ago, I was undergoing top-secret communication with my bride's longtime friends. I had organized everything involved in the proposal and was trying to get those closest to her to the scene of the crime so they could witness the event.
Since we met at the Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo in 2001 and had developed our relationship because of that event, the Feb. 25 fundraiser for the rodeo seemed the logical place to conduct it.
Two weeks prior to the big evening, I was in Maryville interviewing for this job. The wheels in the Oklahoma Panhandle were already in motion, but I had some unfinished business to tend to that weekend, and it was more than the editorship of the daily paper.
I had to ask for her parents' blessing. Truth is, I was scared to death. In fact, I was wondering how in the hell I was going to drop down on one knee in front of 200 people if I struggled so mightily summoning up the courage to talk to her folks.
Once the blessing was granted, I knew I was in good shape. Secret conversations continued, and while my bride-to-be was out of town one night, I got everything in order. First off were bold letters spelling out my love, which were then placed in large envelopes.
Then as folks in cowboy hats and dancin' boots strolled into the auction house where the fundraiser was taking place, I handed the envelopes to the appropriate people and set the dozen red roses out of site. When the time came, the six key envelopes in the right people's hands, and one by one, they were revealed.
By the time we got there, I dropped to a knee and pulled out my sign, "Me?"
Her jaw dropped and a hand covered her mouth. She stood motionless, save the quivering, when someone pointed out that she should open her envelope.
Note that I was very careful as to be somewhat influential in this matter. On one side was "YES!" in 300-point bold letters. On the other was "no," in type so small she didn't even notice it.
See, I told you I am a romantic. Now, would you please help me convince my wife?
Ted Harbin is managing editor of The Maryville Daily Forum. More than likely, he purchased a card, flowers and chocolates just in time to save his butt for Valentine's Day.