© 1980, 2011, 2015 By Bob Litton
NOTE TO READER: Got an email from a friend the other day—a rather pushy friend who is always urging me to do this or that! Anyway, this time he said I need to write something for Valentine’s Day. He apparently never read the three I wrote between January 31 and February 14 of last year. If he had, he would recognize that I have exhausted the subject of romantic love. Yessiree! I have put the cap on the topic in this blog!
Well, almost. There was one small piece I wrote back in 1980 which might gently remind my readers of the day’s significance without indulging in hyperbole or grandiosity. But this has to be it; I am going to leave future Valentine’s Days to other, younger writers with a little more libido left in their veins. And this post I intend to schedule just for one day (although it will remain available after 2/14), because I had another, more entertaining post already scheduled before my friend interrupted it with his request, and I had to slide it over a day.
Yes, I can hardly recall what “being in love” was like, although I do remember the physical embraces and the nighttime songs to the moon between year 15 and year 25. An old man has to be kind and smile indulgently at those memories—the emotions of which he now attributes to the aroma of the perfume his sweetheart wore: Arpege.
I swear he will never feel that way again—not unless Jeanne Crain or Grace Kelly returns for him.
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Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite days. No interminable prelude like Thanksgiving and Christmas. No over-indulgence like New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July. No foppery such as attends Easter. The worst thing you can say about Valentine’s Day is that we sometimes get a little mawkishly sentimental then.
But it’s a great day. When I was in grade school I used to wonder why it wasn’t a real holiday—one for which you got out of school…legally. But shortly I realized that if we got out of school we wouldn’t be able to give each other cards on Valentine’s Day, and that was all the day was for.
I was always one to analyze the Valentines I received. Of course, the expected thing to do was to give a card to every girl in the class, maybe even to everybody in the class. But you could always pencil in something a little special on one or two cards and expect like treatment in return. I always looked for such signs.
Valentine’s Day is definitely one we need to keep—clean, simple, and not too commercial. It’s just a day we make a special effort to say, “I like you!”
— The Monahans News, February 14, 1980