Rob handed me the envelope, Valentine card inside, three weeks ago. The outside said, “M. On 2/14.” He said, “Save it, Babe, for the right day.”
That’s when I knew that Rob, who doesn’t plan such things in advance, hadn’t spent one minute standing in an aisle somewhere, painstakingly sorting through Valentine messages. Whatever it was, somebody else had chosen the message—hopefully, in his voice. Knowing how he operates, I imagined the thing had arrived in the mail. Meaning, of course, Rob had chosen to hop aboard some passing sentiment like a hobo on a box car, traveling for free.
Still, hoping some stranger had penned words worth keeping, I propped up the card in a prominent spot and waited. Today I opened it.
Outside, the words were promising: “To Someone Special. On Valentine’s Day.” Inside, the message took a dive. “This special card is sent your way, filled with good thoughts on Valentine’s Day.” Rob had circled the words “good thoughts.”
I stared at it, incredulous. “Good thoughts? “ “Good thoughts?” Was that the best the writer could do? Was that the best Rob could do? Good thoughts in a lousy meter? Rob had printed, “Doesn’t get better than this . . . “
Suddenly I was laughing. Of all the intentionally funny cards I’ve ever received, this was the funniest--but not on purpose. It went straight from stupid to hilarious. After 65 years of marriage, I thought, maybe I’d better just grab Good Thoughts and run.
All of which reminds me of one of my best friends, Elaine, who accepted a blind date, and when he arrived she opened the front door, took one look and said, “You’re too short,” and closed the door in his face. When she opened it again, Marty was laughing. From that moment, their relationship soared.
It also reminds me of Rob, whose marriage proposal came after numerous trips down Bayshore Highway from his school, San Jose State, to mine--Stanford. One day he said, “This trip has gotten so grueling, we might as well get married.”
After a proposal like that, the pundits would have given us six months. I didn’t get the sentiment, but I got the man.
Anyway, just so you’ll know, I’ve had better Valentines. Last year’s card from the Heart Association was a whole lot better than this one. The Heart Association will never be apprised, but thanks to their clunky card, Rob owes me dinner at a fancy restaurant.