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Public Service Announcement for GUYS

February 13, 2020
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Gentlemen, be alerted to the fact that TOMORROW IS VALENTINE’S DAY! Now is the time to get out on your lunch break and purchase something nice for your wife or sweetie. If you’re married, they’d better be the same person.

Lowes or Home Depot are NOT stores to shop for this. As hard as it is to explain, a nice power tool doesn’t trip most women’s trigger. If your wife/sweetie doesn’t fit this stereotype, more power to you (and her), but the vast majority of women are not excited about cordless power tools. Take it from an old guy with experience.

And do yourself a favor and buy your Valentine’s Day card at an actual store, not a gas station or the 711. It’s inexplicable, but women can tell the difference between cards purchased at these places.

I’m just trying to keep your bacon out of the fire.

An effort – even a lame one – at a Valentine’s Day gift is better than no effort at all. Take it from me. I know. The worst Valentine’s Day I’ve ever experienced was my first as a married man. When the Day slipped up on me.

I’ve been madly in love with my wife from the start. I still am. I was disgustingly romantic through our courtship and engagement. I wrote poems and long, sloppy letters to her. I gave her cheesy little (cheap) gifts. Our friends all rolled their eyes at me.

But when we got married, or more accurately, a couple of months after the wedding, it was like someone flipped the romance switch in my brain off. I have no explanation for this, let alone an excuse. Only regret for it.

In our first year of marriage, we were finishing our Sr. year of Bible College, living a 30 minute drive (when the traffic cooperated) from campus, with 7:30 a.m. classes Tuesday through Friday. I have never been a morning person. Getting up in time to be dressed and in my right mind for the drive to school was always a challenge. Often I did this somnambulitorily. My first 30 minutes, I was totally fuzzy-headed and completely on autopilot.

Debbie, my wonderful wife, did not have the same difficulty with mornings as I did. This is important to the story.

On that fateful first St. Valentine’s Day of our married life, she got up early, made a lovely breakfast, set the table lovingly, with a card at my place, and our little cassette player (remember those?) loaded and ready to play the recording of our wedding ceremony.

I stumbled in on my usual schedule, a couple of minutes before we needed to be out the door for school, grunted and said, “What’s this for?”

This was not my finest hour.

Debbie had to tell me that it was Valentine’s Day. She wasn’t ugly about it, but she was hurt. Well, duah.

The drive to school was silent, except for the roar of our little car’s engine.

Since I’d forgotten it was Valentine’s Day, I hadn’t bought a Valentine’s Day card. I’d bought no gift (we barely had cash enough to put gas in the car and food in the fridge). And by the time we got to school for our 7:30 classes, it was way too late to get either. It would have only made things worse. At least that’s what I told myself.

Now, 45 years later, I look back on that sad day and wonder what kind of brain injury I must have sustained to have forgotten the second most important day in the first year of marriage. I have no excuse and no alibi.

(If you’re wondering what the first most important day in the first year of marriage is, ask your wife. She’ll tell you it’s your first anniversary.)

I’ve successfully remembered Valentine’s Day every year since. But that was the last time Debbie made Valentine’s Day breakfast. After all these years, I have no idea what landfill the cassette tape of our wedding ceremony is in. Even if it turned up, I don’t have a cassette player to play it on, anyway.

Brothers, I tell you this cautionary tale for two reasons. First of all, for its cathartic function. Confession is good for my soul. And second, to remind you of a fact that is easy for guys to forget: your wife needs to know that she’s your Valentine. Seems easy, right? It’s not. There are thousands of other pressing issues crowding this important fact out of your conscious thoughts. This is a need, not just a want. So don’t blow past it on your way to whatever important thing is next on your to-do list.

It’s not just about you trying to be a little more romantic. And it’s not about the variety of romance that most guys attempt: foreplay. I could say a lot about this, but I won’t. If you don’t get it, it will take more words than I’ve got left for this blog. Look it up on Google or something.

You wife/sweetie needs to know that she’s not an afterthought. One of her biggest needs is to be reminded often that she’s the second highest priority in your life. Higher than your job or your hobbies. Higher than your buddies. Higher, even, than your kids. The only One who registers higher on the priority scale is God. It goes Father, Son, Holy Spirit, your wife.

You may not understand the impact of this. And it may not make sense to you. Well, get over it. So much of her security is in this.

Actually, you don’t need to fully understand this. You just need to act according to it’s value.

I know it’s late in the day that you’re reading this. You may not see this before your lunch break. It could be way late in the day. You may need to get in your car and drive a while to find a store, other than a convenience store, that’s open 24 hours. But do yourself a favor and get in the car and find the store and a nice card. Make it the front porch for telling your girl that she’s the love of your life. And then figure out a way to follow it up with loving words and actions that will say it loud and clear.

From → Marriage

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