Happy Valentine’s Day!

Well, here we again on Valentine’s Day. When I was a little girl, Dad always gave me a little heart-shaped box of chocolates; Mom got a much larger one. It didn’t matter in the end, because I always got into her’s. I was famous for biting off a corner of a chocolate; if I didn’t like it, I put it back in the box. Mom always referred to these as “spit-backs.”

Years ago when I was again single after my divorce, a fellow I worked with asked if we could go out to dinner together on Valentine’s Day as neither one of us were seeing anyone. I agreed. Of course, everywhere was packed with lovers of all ages, and we got a kick out of watching them all.

Funniest of all was the name my “date” gave the hostess for when a table was available. My friend was over 6′ tall, muscle-y, and had the kind of death-ray stare that intimidated everyone who didn’t know him well. (He really was a pussy cat; just looked scary.)

To that end, he told the hostess the name to call when our table was ready: “Dumbass Sh*thead.” The hostess looked confused, and asked him to spell it. He did, only he pronounced it “dumbaz shy thad.” I did my best not to laugh right then and there. But when his name boomed out over the loudspeaker, I just lost it: “Table for two for Mr. Dumbass Sh*t—oh, CRAP!”

Suffice it to say, we had a lot of fun not specifically having Valentine’s dates that night.

Bless the Crankee Yankee’s heart; he always asks me what I want for Valentine’s Day. He never has been very comfortable about giving me gifts; he worries that he will somehow disappoint me. So instead he takes me shopping. I pick out what I want, he pays for it, and we are both happy.

The Crankee Yankee  would rather have me pick out something I like rather than guessing. This Valentine’s Day he bought me a beautiful necklace I picked out on Etsy. It is a lovely sterling silver tiny crescent moon pendant with a tiny diamond in it, on a sterling chain. I absolutely love it.

When I ask him what he wants, he always hugs me and says, “I’ve got you; that’s plenty!” Of course, the five cats and I usually get him something; a big bag of roasted cashews, another backscratcher, a Dunkin’s gift card, and so on. After all these years, it really isn’t the gift, it’s the thought, the love, the remembrance and the time together.

I remember that first marriage of mine; for any occasion I received loads of jewelry, vacations, and clothes. What I didn’t get was a good husband. Not that gifts on a special day are a bad thing, but I came to realize that those gifts were only a cover-up for bad behavior, lying and cheating on me. Needless to say, we divorced with no harm done.

I have known the Crankee Yankee since we were both in our 20’s. We both had first marriages that failed, and we both went our separate ways for a few years. When I was living and working in Texas, I got a phone call from him. At the time, he was a long-distance trucker. When he called he said that he was going to be passing through Dallas in a few days and would I like to have dinner with him? I did.

We got caught up on each other’s lives, and stayed until the restaurant closed. A few months later he called to invite me to his daughter’s graduation from West Point in May of 2001. He told me that she had also recently become engaged to a fellow West Point grad, and would be having a West Point wedding in September. He asked if I would like to go with him for that, and I accepted both invitations.

We had a wonderful time at the graduation, and we spent a lot of time talking. We caught each other up on our failed marriages, and laughed about not wanting to get married again—ever.

Well, by the time we went to his daughter’s wedding, we were engaged. All the reservations and fears I had had about marriage melted away when he proposed to me. He had been my friend for years, and I knew what a good and faithful man he was. And now, nearly 16 years later, here we are on another Valentine’s Day.

The Crankee Yankee is my best Valentine’s gift ever!