Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Here we are, in February. The shortest month in the calendar, one of the coldest, and for those of us who are single most definitely the cruelest.
Yes, Gars and Goyles, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner once again. Remember to do something special for that somebody special or you may well find yourself in company with me next year, alone and wishing.
Some years ago, on February 15 (my dog’s birthday, but, more germane to the story, the day after Valentine’s Day), my student told me this story. Apparently, he had thought several months out, and planned a very special day for his girlfriend. He made reservations at her favorite restaurant (the kind of place where you must make reservations months in advance), ordered roses, had a nice gift for her, just a very nice thing. He caught her completely by surprise; it was an amazing evening. She was shocked that she was eating at that restaurant, when, halfway through dinner, he uttered one of my jokes. She almost got up and left. He spent the rest of the dinner apologizing, repeatedly and profusely for the joke, which is proof positive that in the hands of amateurs, my jokes are dangerous.
Maybe that’s why I’m single.
My mom and dad would go to a card store and look at Valentine’s Day cards. She would find one and hand it to dad saying, “this one is for you”, and dad would hand one to mom which was for her. They would read the cards, put them back, and leave the store.
Very, um, romantic, I guess?
I’ve written about my romantic gestures in the past. I have a habit of trying to go over the top with handwritten love letters and posting love notes around my wife’s bed as she slept, but not all romantic gestures have to be to such limits to be amazing. In fact, some might argue that “less is more”, and the kinds of things that I like to do might actually have the effect of detracting from the intended sentiment. But the point is that now, a couple of weeks out, is a great time to start thinking about and planning that special Valentine’s Day for the person that means so much to you.
The reality is that a person should make the one they love to feel special frequently throughout the year. It’s been suggested that to keep a relationship feel fresh and alive, one should do something romantic for their partner at least every ten days. Most of us have a habit of taking our loved ones for granted, maybe saying the token “luv ya” heading out the door while quickly settling into a routine of household chores that in themselves show love, but unfortunately are too routine for regular notice. Valentine’s Day is, let’s face it, a commercial holiday to get us to buy chocolates and jewelry and cards, but it is nonetheless a reminder that we should treat the people we love with romantic gestures.
Ugh, I’m using that term too much.
If you want to surprise that special person, it can be very easy. Give them a full body massage. Cook them a special dinner and clean up afterwards. Heck draw her a hot bubble bath and wash her back for her. Do, fold and put away the laundry. Make dinner reservations at that special dinner and don’t tell a Bleil joke.
That’s a great thing, not telling Bleil jokes.
If I can be a little more serious for a moment, I recommend that my readers take a little bit of time to think about that special someone in their life. It’s not fun being lonely. Even the mundane is sad; imagine having nobody with whom to share daily chores like cooking, cleaning, lawn, shoveling, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Going to bed alone every night, waking up alone every morning, leaving with nobody to see you off, and getting home to a house with nobody to greet you is more painful than I can express. The absolute worst times are when you have a terrible day and a terrific day. It’s hard to describe how calming it is to have somebody special to comfort you, and how special it is to be with somebody who will celebrate your successes.
Take some time. Think about how much darker your life would be were it not for your partner. Think about what you want them to know. Consider what would mean the most to them, and how they would most appreciate you to express your feelings. And do something. Even if it’s expected because it’s Valentine’s Day, just let them know.