Posts Tagged ‘Lutherans’

St. Valentine’s Day…..

February 14, 2010

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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