St. Valentine’s Day…..

Sweet Revenge

I know, I know….there is a lot of poo-pooing about this ‘holiday’.  The over commercialism of such things grates on most of our nerves and pocketbooks.

But political correctness aside…who does not love the holiday?  Of course, if you have no main squeeze, aren’t hitched to the plow, have no one in your sites….it is one holiday to sleep through. Remain in bed, pull up the covers and read….Moby Dick.  That will do.

Those of us who are hitched, squeezed, etc…well, we have to  play along.

I think men are much more romantic than women.  Well, that’s I’m sure an overstatement, but the example of my husband is a case in point.

He’s in Chicago right now, attending the graduation of our son from Navy Basic.  He called to tell me of a package coming:  sure enough, a “Pajama gram”…something I have never heard of.  It’s a rather large box, and heavy and I told him I wouldn’t open it until he was home tonight.

It had started to snow and I was heading out to Home Depot to buy him his Valentine present, and he blanched.

How romantic was that?  I was thinking of a new power tool for him, or something in a similar vein, but he wanted….what?  At least I don’t head for KMart anymore to buy him  flannel shirts.  Haven’t done that in years….

From the beginning of our marriage (pre-history) he has been the romantic one.  Cards, flowers, wine, jewelry, etc…just for no holiday, but because he is that ‘kind’ of guy.  The first few years there were poems slipped under my pillow, flowers when I straggled down to breakfast, scratching and yawning.  Cards that were the ‘talky’ ones, speaking longggggg  sentiments….enough so there was nothing left for the giver to write.  I didn’t know how to respond because my first husband was not of the culture or inclination to be so…..effusive.

Apparently there isn’t  one St. Valentine in history. There are several.  “Valentine” apparently means “worthy”…and it was a common name.  Of course the Catholics have him (whichever one…I think the martyr who was stoned and beaten and when that didn’t kill him, he was beheaded outside the city gates.)  Tough men these Valentines were.

But what was surprising was St. Valentine is also  on the saint hit  list of Lutherans…the Missouri Synod.

I grew up around some Lutherans and these were NOT romantic men.  Of  course, I was a young girl and didn’t have a clue about adults and romance, but these men were countrymen, farmers, herders of milk cows and on any Sunday, they would be dressed in shiny brown or black suits, standing around the outside of church smoking after the service.   Men who poked their arms up the cows and horses privates  and turned calves and foals from a breech position.  Men who worked all day at what farmers did, and spent 1/2 the night fixing their cars, trucks or combines.

I should have put two and two together, because they certainly did:  they had massive families, many kids and this was all right.  Playmates.

I have to pick my sweet husband up from the airport at 8pm.  I have already gone out and bought him a blooming pot of pink tulips and a big box of Whitmans.

He’s still miffed that I forgot our 25th wedding anniversary.  One tends to forget these things, but I am told that this is a more a man’s thing.  Well, I forgot and I had to make it up to him.  25 years is silver but what he got was golden.

So….I have a dinner planned and a nice bottle of wine cooling. Hopefully the flowers (which he can take into work!) and the candy will soothe the savage beast.

Happy Valentine’s Day to You!!

Lady Nyo

PS: My brother Chris in Savannah is one of the funniest people I know.  This year he presented our mother  with a pot of tulips and behind his back?  Three huge crab legs.  As he said:

“Nothing says ‘be my valentine’ like a dead, frozen, dismembered crab.”

Below is a poem written for last Valentine’s Day.

Poem Of My Husband

“You’re all I have”

Heard in the dark

Heart almost stopping

In an inattentive breast.


I dare not look at him

Too bald a sentiment

And too true to bear

A light, comforting answer.


What would occasion such words,

Such a piteous sentiment?


When one has lived

Within another’s hours, days, years,

The fabric of this making

Can be forgotten.


The warp and weave, the very thread

That appears as if out of air

(and it does…)

becomes substantial,

it covers and clothes more than the body

and the life blood of sentiment,


Becomes the river within, unending,

Even transcending the pulse of life.


“You’re all I have,”

A whispered refrain

That echoes in the heart

And burrows deep.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009

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7 Responses to “St. Valentine’s Day…..”

  1. katiewritesagain Says:

    You have written something honestly new about Valentine’s Day. And I love your husband.
    Your poem made me cry and remember what I wish I didn’t remember. Lying in someone’s warmth in the dark, whispering what is usually hidden in our hearts, I miss that and am very, very glad that you appreciate what you have.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    you have the ability to create poetry in simple prose. I started the first NDY group because I wanted to get close to you and your writing, and you still touch me the same way.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, darlin’.

    I appreciate what I have but there was a time that I didn’t. I got lost. I got found again, but the interval was painful…and I was making myself miserable.

    O, I am lucky, but unworthy. Perhaps that is the lesson of life?

    Love you, Katie. And I hope you will find this above, what you write. I think you are one of the truly worthy ones.



  3. shia1 Says:

    Well.. We are broke. I got a kiss and an “I love you”

    Nothing fancy, but a kiss says a thousand words. You sound like you had a romantic Valentines Day. You both are lucky to have each other.



  4. ladynyo Says:

    I think you got exactly what the spirit of Thanksgiving means!

    The pajamas I got don’t fit. I kiss and a “I love you” can be precious and rare.

    Valentine’s Day was an hour before he hit the bed…..with a kidney stone.

    And yes, we are lucky to have each other, as are you and Steve.

    Lady Nyo


  5. shia1 Says:

    Oh My God…

    Kidney stones hurt like hell. I have always had mine lasered. Painful when you pee. I heard if you drink too much Ice tea, or regular tea you get something called tanic acid which form the stone. I get both, the tanic acid and I think the calcium one. I forget the technical name for the calcium.

    Oh well the PJ’s might fit it you keep on belly dancing!




  6. ladynyo Says:

    Apparently, it’s something more with his prostate. Enlarged.
    I don’t know anything about male plumbing, but he’s dragging around in pain. Went to his doctor and he’s on a bunch of meds….but they haven’t kicked in yet.

    It’s hard to see your strong and healthy husband doubled up in pain. It scares you. It’s not ‘normal’. But he’s mortal like all of us, I just forget this.

    Today, I have sadder news and will write an entry on this.

    Thanks, shia.



  7. Brad Refazo Says:

    What a excellent blog entry, Thanks for sharing it with me. Have a Great day!


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