Valentine’s Day: Or mission impossible as we men like to say


While the wife and I have only been married for 49 years, we have celebrated 52 Valentine’s Days together.

Consequently, we have given each other every romantic gift under the sun over the years. And thus, the problem. What to do for Valentine’s Day this year.

“Honey,” I said to the wife. “I am spent. I have absolutely no idea what to get you for Valentine’s Day. I have given you every conceivable gift; flowers, candy, getaways, clothes, dinners, I even got you a socket set for my tool box.”

“Oh, that was my favorite,” the wife said sarcastically.

“What can I get you this year?”

“I’ll give you a hint, something that doesn’t go in your tool box.”

“Dang! I’ve had my eye on a new crescent wrench that I know you’d just love.”

“NO!” the wife firmly stated. “But I know you’ll think of something wonderful for our 52nd Valentine’s Day together. …”

Instantly the “Mission Impossible” theme started running through my head. So off to the home improvement store I went.

Perusing the plumbing department, I saw a very handsome toilet handle. It was brushed nickel and was an interesting duck-head shape.

Seeing a pleasant looking female employee about the wife’s age, I asked her, “I’m thinking about getting my wife this attractive duck-head toilet handle for Valentine’s Day. What do you think she’ll say?”

“I’m thinking she will want to do you some serious harm. Nothing permanent, just a broken arm or leg, but something to remind you during the healing process that what you bought her for Valentine’s Day will go down in history as the worst gift ever. Here’s my card. If she needs help breaking your arm, have her give me a call.” And they say customer service is a thing of the past.

So, there I was back to square one, my best idea shot down. Maybe I should try a different store, something more feminine like a boutique. I don’t even know what a boutique sells … bows, maybe? Or how about a spa treatment? They can file down those toenails and fingernails and put veggies on her eyelids. Who wouldn’t like that? But the spa idea is probably bad because she’ll think I think she could use some work.

Curses! I’m doomed! It’s so hard to be romantic when you’re just a dumb doofus who thinks a brushed nickel duck-head is a romantic gift.

Mindlessly driving around town, I passed a little shop called, “Stuff You Really Don’t Need.” I parked the car and went in.

“May I help you?” another pleasant female employee asked.

“I seriously hope so. Fifty-second Valentine’s Day. I have no idea what to get my wife.”

“Fifty-second … oh, that’s tough. What does she like?”

“Me, I think, and birds. She really likes birds, probably more than me.”

“I know just the thing! Follow me.”

So, I followed the nice lady to the back of the store and there on a shelf was a tiny lamp with a small bird sitting on a square of granite.

“It’s perfect!” I said. “You have just saved me from a broken arm. …”

Happy Valentine’s Day and good luck to all of you husbands out there!

Raul Ascunce is a freelance columnist for the Sentinel-Tribune. He may be contacted at [email protected].

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