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  • On Valentine's Day

    I come to you with empty hands

    I guess I just forgot again
    I only got my love to send

    On Valentine's Day

    I suck at Hallmark moments.

    It’s not that I don’t try. Truly I do. I’ve bought cards, sent flowers (live and nearly dead ones), delivered champagne, searched out romantic restaurants. But mostly my inner barking seal seems to come out and, well, bark.

    Somehow, in those connect-the-dots moments between Christmas, Groundhog Day, and the most romantic day of the year, I see my shadow, declare six more weeks of winter, and hibernate until it’s too late.

    There's so much I want to say

    But all the words just slip away
    The way you love me every day
    Is Valentine's Day

    Unfortunately, my sense of bad timing also can be applied to birthdays, and odd-numbered years that coincide with my wedding anniversary. (Of course, the dysentery on Mother’s Day that year wasn’t a great choice either; I prefer to think of it as an extraordinary case of bad timing. It certainly was the last time I’ll opt for an all-you-can-eat buffet on a major holiday.)

    If there is anything that convinces me that my inner nerd — complete with pocket protector — is capable of overwhelming my inner romantic, or that I should do everything in my power to eliminate the 11 federal holidays and 47 pre-programmed greeting card days from my life, it’s times like this.

    For some reason, my situational Tourette’s kicks in, and I say or do something to screw it up. It feels like Butch and Sundance jumping off the cliff into the rapids below. The fall may not kill me, but I definitely cuss on the way down.

    If I could I would deliver to you

    Diamonds and gold; it's the least I can do

    So if you'll take my IOU

    I could make it up to you
    Until then I hope my heart will do

    For Valentine's Day

    Thanks to Steve Earle, I can pass along what you have just read in the italic passages. I can pledge to try again, no matter what the fates may choose to say about it. And I can thank God for the 350 or so non-holiday opportunities that I have each and every year to say how much I love and cherish the wife and family I have.

    I don’t need a Hallmark moment to tell me that. Fortunately for me, they don’t either.