She was hopping mad.
He had forgotten their anniversary; no present, no acknowledgement. They had been married some 35 odd years.
So she confronted him. He was contrite. So he went out into his workshop and found an old Valentine's Day card and presented it to her.
That didn't cut it. She was still mad that he had forgotten.
When they were first married he never bought her any presents, not at Christmastime or any other time. That just wasn't his thing.
She would hint and was embarrassed that he didn't buy her a gift and put it under the tree.
She started making a list and posting it where she hoped he would see it.
Each year she checked two or three of the items on the list that she would prefer.
She was hopeful.
Nothing. No gifts.
Finally, she posted the list by his workshop so that he would see it everytime he went into his workshop.
Still no luck.
So one Christmas she took the list and bought everything on the list; everything.
That caught his attention, undivided.
So the next year she received a really nice gift. After that, she received pretty earrings, necklaces, rings, really nice gifts.
He did nice things, too.
She remembered the time he saved her from a skunk.
It was languishing outside the kitchen door, acting strangely for a skunk.
Her man decided to chase it away with a long pole.
The skunk reacted, backfired, literally.
It sprayed a putrid smelling liquid onto the wood pile, all over the carport. The smell seeped into the house, too.
She had to burn candles for days before the foul smelling odor subsided. And the wood pile reeked for weeks.
No, once upon a time he didn't buy her lavish gifts or wax romantic. But he protected her, supported her, provided a good living and was faithful.
Some women just don't appreciate a good man when they have one.
There used to be some really strange customs surrounding Valentine's Day.
Years ago, people believed that birds chose their mates on Feb. 14.
Most Valentine's Day customs were concerned with romance or the choice of a mate. Some unmarried girls pinned five bay leaves to their pillow on the eve of Valentine's Day. They pinned one leaf to the center of the pillow and one to each corner, and believed they would see their future husbands in their dreams if the charm worked.
In some places, an unmarried girl would strike her forehead with a folded rose petal. If the petal cracked, the girl knew that her valentine loved her. Some young ladies rose early on Feb. 14, looked through a keyhole and hoped to see two objects. If a girl saw only one object in her first peep through the keyhole, she supposedly had little chance of being married that year.
Yes, young men often presented gifts to their valentines. In some places, the young man gave his lady a pair of gloves.
That isn't done anymore, but exchanging valentines with words of friendship, a sentimental verse or a message of love is popular today. Gifts of roses, perfume, jewelry or chocolates are popular, too.
However, if you husbands or sweethearts want your mate to be your forever valentine (and you want to avoid a St. Valentine's Day massacre) you won't give her an iron, a thermometer, a water hose, a hamburger press or spatula, a new mop, dish cloths, potting soil, a coal bucket, a door mat, tires, a skillet, towels, a rolling pin or an IOU.
If you do, you might ponder the last two lines of a poem written by Dorothy Parker:
My own dear love, he is all my heart
And I wish somebody'd shoot him.