I remember Valentine’s Days as a kid at Trenton Elementary School back in the middle years of a previous century. I remember buying cheap cards and cheap candies, staying up the night before and signing each card and addressing each envelope to every one of my classmates. No one liked those cheap hard candies with the little messages imprinted but we always ate them, at least the ones from our favorite friends.
Every year past the third grade, and maybe before then, there was always at least one girl that I wanted to give something special to, something that would make her want me to be her special sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, and maybe for a week or two longer. It was several years before I figured out that it would take something other than cheap cards and yucky candy to accomplish that.
By high school, I wasn’t buying cards for my classmates. Just wouldn’t seem right handing a Valentine’s card to Van Sims or David Hardison or any of the other guys. And, in regard to the girls, none of the ones I’d care to give a card to would care to get one from me. So, I skipped the trips to K-Mart’s card and candy sections.
My first year of college, I gave the girl I was dating a lovely bouquet for Valentine’s Day. I very cleverly had slipped my class ring up around the stems of a few of the flowers, a token at the time that I wanted to “go steady.” She kept the flowers, returned the ring.
These days, it’s a bit easier. No problems with a lack of reciprocity. No wondering for whom I should buy cards or to whom I should give candy. It’s actually pretty easy nowadays. No shifting affections, no struggling with wonderings. For over twenty-three years now, I have lived with the only woman I have ever adored. It doesn’t make it any more likely that I’ll pick out the right jewelry, but it sure shortens the shopping list. She has always loved the flowers I’ve bought, shared the candy and has never returned my ring.
Once we have settled our hearts, our affections seem to come pretty natural. In matters both physical and spiritual.