Face it.

Once commercial enterprises latch onto a holiday, no one can live up to the expectations. c9db2251a5f7f4273b165f925a6b5d8d

If you didn’t gift your sweetheart with jewelry, you failed.

Roses count, as long as it was a dozen.

A teddy bear bigger than your sofa? You’re kidding yourself.

Over 40 years ago, Cliff and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day. We don’t remember what I gave him, but I recall his gift for me. A six-pack of his favorite Heineken beer and his favorite Hoyt Axton album. No card. I didn’t know what to say.

Well, okay, I did, but I didn’t.

Eventually Cliff tried taking me out to dinner, but he was never the kind of person who thought ahead for reservations, meaning we confronted lengthy lines that coiled through the lobby and into the parking lot. Irritated toe tapping does not enhance the experience.

So he’s surprised me with lots of pizzas on February 14.

We’ve had decades to get it right, after realizing we’re just not hefty-price-tag people or wine-swilling romantics by candlelight.

For Va lentine’s Day 2020, I baked two dozen Candy-Bar-Cookie Cookies: chocolate batter with chocolate chips and crumbled Oreos and Three Musketeers. I always find a card with some kind of mammal that I can doodle with glasses, curls, and beard to represent us. This year we became starry-eyed goldfish.


Cliff chose a tasteful card for me and candy. He followed my advice and bought Russell Stover’s on sale after the holiday, which tastes just as good at half price. I ate two pieces and asked him to hide it from me–with strict instructions only to provide more if I begged. Otherwise, I’d polish off the entire box in one sitting.


I think that’s the secret sauce to a lasting relationship.

Find your holiday lane, whatever it is and however long it takes.

Stay in it.


7 thoughts on “Old Couple’s Valentines

  1. It took me a while (i.e. 30 years) to find just the right Valentine’s Day gift for Sandra — not that she ever complained about candy, in the meantime. But I’ve learned that it takes time to get the hang of this relationship thing. Congrats to you & Cliff for your perseverance.


    1. It takes a long time to get past yourself, and by that I mean the you-ness of all of us. Honestly seeing the other person without our own ambitions or definitions is a challenge. You’ve met it and then some. I’m delighted for you. And relieved, having known you since you were a teenager.


  2. What a lovely post. These “holidays” only serve to cause extra stress on a couple who feel the need to “keep up”! Good on you for finding your lane.


    1. Thanks. We fall so easily for mass promotion, don’t we? (Here I must admit to confusing you with another Dale I know. That one is vastly different from you, so if Ive ever replied in a way that seems “off” to you, I hope you’ll understand now.)

      Liked by 1 person

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