Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wife Rule #16: Hopeless Romanticism is Overrated

My creative wife creatively created a scrapbook to host our history of Valentine's Day cards to each other. Every year around the Big Day (I mean Groundhog's Day, of course) we pull out the scrapbook and admire our hopelessly romantic past expressions of mutual thumbs-upmanship. And let me add, we have some real dooseys in there. The hope is that we will feel inspired yet again to outdo our previous inspiration. After all, if our love is continually growing, we should be continually better at expressing it, shouldn't we?

If only it could be so. This year as I perused the book, I nearly gagged at one particular Valentine I had written to my wife. It was probably just the mood I was in when I read it, but I think there's something to be said for a little humor instead of always laying on the schmooze with a putty knife. One of the Valentines I'm personally proudest of I gave her just months before we were married, and contains a big red heart on the front and says "B Mine," but on the inside there is a pop-out purple vampire bat with the caption "or B-ware!" That's classic romantical stuff, just ask any woman.

I think my favorite valentine to her must be the one I gave her only two months after our first date, when our relationship was still in the tenuous phase that merited notes signed with little hearts instead of The Big Word, "From" (or is it "Love"?) This first valentine contained an anatomically-correct heart on the front (complete with red and blue tubes sticking out of it) and a poem inside. For your reading pleasure, I quote the poem in its entirety, complete with original footnotes:

Well, roses are Red and violets are Blue
And there's lots I could write that I know about you,
But those sappy love poems can really make your hide rot,
So instead of what you are, I'll tell you what you're not!

Let's see...

You're not bald and fat, and all sagging underneath.
You don't walk around with food stuck in your teeth.
You don't have bad breath, and your armpits don't reek.
And I can tell that you bathe more than once in a week.

You're not lazy, or stupid, and your life's not a wreck,
And I know ('cause I've seen 'em) that you're not a redneck (1).
You don't smoke, drink, or gamble and I think that it's cool
That you don't belch a lot (2), or slurp your food, or drool.

You don't steal from babies, or kick nuns in the shins
And you don't push smaller kids into trash bins.
You're not a mass-murderer, a Nazi, or spy
And last time I checked, no boogers in your eye (3).

So after looking you over and giving in thought
I can tell that there's quite a few things that you're not.
And if I were to tell you the things that you are,
I'd run out of paper before I got far.

But I will tell you you're sweet, and I love all the time
That I spend with you, darling, my dear Valentine (4).

(1) Although driving a riding lawnmower out of town is questionable.
(2) Even though I know you really can.
(3) I know, I'm a hopeless romantic.
(4) I could write a lot more, but it's harder to rhyme virtues.

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