Hearts, Bears and Roses

An unexpected question about Valentine’s Day leads to the truth about relationships.


When is Valentine’s Day this year?

The retired air force colonel and I are herding cats — aka running a proposal — and have taken a mental-health break to run a shopping errand at noon. It being early February, the downtown mall is littered with red and silver hearts, white plush teddy bears, chocolate roses, and other signs of the season. His question catches me off guard. Immersed in a ‘read the question, answer the question’ discipline, I think for a minute and decide to go for clarification on the question.

Umm, do you mean what day of the week? After all, what else can he mean?

Nope. He means ‘what date’. Ah.

Well, February 14 this year ““ just like every year.

A loving and devoted husband of several decades and something of a teddy bear himself, he’s the last guy I’d have expected to need a prompt on this matter, yet here we are.

The surprise of that 1994 conversation has lasted nigh on twenty years; his happy marriage still shows no sign of wear or tear. Sir, this is your annual reminder: Valentine’s Day is today. But somehow I think you’ve got it under control, even without the hearts, bears, and roses.

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8 Responses to Hearts, Bears and Roses

  1. Jim Robertson says:

    Nicely said Isabel

  2. Mike Saker says:

    OMG. It’s today?!!?
    How can I forget? It’s Gail’s birthday as well.
    The other lesson I learned along the way is that two cards (one for each event) is preferable to one. And, uncharacteristically, it only took one occasion for that lesson to sink in (and this after searching high and low for that one in 365 days birthday greeting — perhaps their rarity was a signal of some sort).
    We live and learn.
    Happy Valentine’s Day.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Mike – Yes, you might have taken your cue from Hallmark! Ah well, as we like to say, God isn’t finished with us yet, so it’s OK to keep on learning. Happy birthday to Gail!

  3. Norm Haug says:

    At times I think that Valentine’s Day is just another onslaught of commercialism geared to guilt people into spending more money on cards, chocolates, flowers etc. Most guys love their significant other and feel that their loved one should know that. However, how often do they express their feelings to their loved one? Many, if not most guys, fall short in the “expressing feelings” department. Valentine’s Day hype is a nudge that most of us need, to say on one day, at least, what we should be saying, on a regular basis.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Norm – Well, it might well be both a commercial onslaught and a useful nudge. Sort of a win/win? Your approach (getting something valuable out of something not especially designed to give you value) falls into the “see the best in everyone” category, I think – a nice way to live.

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