Monday, February 11, 2013
I am a card holding, hopeless romantic. I've pressed hearts into sandwich bread, squirted letters with perfume and made a Valentine message candy board. These are the G things. No not G strings. Although I can see where you could get your point across by wrapping a fried bologna and egg sandwich in a thong. But, thank GAWD! I didn't do that on this day. What I did was bad enough.
Well, Valentines day rolls around and I'm grinning like a Cheshire cat in the kitchen while I pack a few sandwiches for Don's lunch. I had just written an explicit love letter, wrapped it in heavy foil so the Dukes mayo wouldn't bleed the ink and then planted it smack dab in the middle of his Curtis Bologna sandwich. Lunchtime came and went, not a word, no call...nothing. I concluded he had a busy day. Unpacking his empty lunch box that evening I asked Don coyly "Did you like that sandwich." Without blinking he tells me he traded with Mike who "Liked it immensely." I can't even describe my embarrassment. Don promised after seeing how mortified I was that the guy didn't read the letter, I wasn't convinced and prayed for weeks that he would find new and better employment.
This week after being bombarded with adds for Pajama Gram, the huge Vermont Valentines Teddy bear and darn near tripping over a two foot card at CVS, I decided to look at Valentines a different way. Through the eyes of the old. Ask a widow/widower and they will tell you, old love is never old enough. A friend's grandmother and grandfather had been married over 70 years. When this was mentioned at his brides funeral he replied "And that wasn't long enough."
I remembered an experience of my own. I was driving through our neighborhood on a clear fall day. I saw a gentleman in his upper 80's trimming his bushes in front of his house with his electric or gas hedge trimmer. I had to stop the car and turn around to make sure my eyes hadn't deceived me. Chopped leaves whizzed threw the air as the man and his boy toy gleefully chopped away at his shrubs. A walker stood alone in front of him as he held on to his power tool with both arms. Behind him, his wife in her housecoat held him tightly, arms wrapped around his waist.
I will be anonymous here, but will tell you that my little experiment in old love has warmed me and humbled me immensely this week. Ask an 88 year old who has been left alone when her spouse died 8 years earlier. Ask them about love. Ask how they met. Hallmark wishes it could catch the expression of joy in their face as they gently caress a photograph while telling you about that dance when they met. The funny thing he said to her and finally the day they left them alone. Old love is good. Old chocolate, not so much.