Did you buy the chocolates? Order the roses? Make the dinner reservations? Come on! Did you at least pick up a lousy valentine card?
It is Valentine's Day, bozo. Snap out of it!
Yes, I usually forget. I forget a lot of important things. I've been married for decades, and I rarely remember that special day, when you're supposed to display true affection for your true love.
This year, I got a jump on preparing for Valentine's Day. I was at the BX – that's the base exchange, although we always called it the PX in the Marine Corps – at nearby Scott Air Force Base about a month ago, when I walked past a store shelf full of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Typically, I would have walked right past them, oblivious to their presence and ignorant of the importance of grabbing one right then and there. But this time, one caught my eye.
The red box in the shape of a heart had a military-like look to it, for it was tied with a chain and military dog tags. They weren't real. The silver chain and silver dog tags were only impressions imprinted on the deep-red design of the heart-shaped box. However, it looked so, umm, so military – yes, that's it – and I'm still so Marine, so I had to buy it for my valentine. That would be my lovely wife of, umm, so many years.
I also bought a box of heart-shaped cakes, and I put both boxes inside a fancy, Valentine's Day, gift bag. Yes, of course, the bag was covered with hearts. Then, at home, I hid the bag of goodies in my closet, which ensured that I would forget about them and fail to put them out for my lovely valentine come Valentine's Day.
The sun rose this morning to greet Valentine's Day lovers everywhere, but it did not dawn on me and my battered, war-torn, aging brain that it was that day and that I needed to head for the closet and retrieve that colorful gift bag of chocolate delights.
Oh, no! I was about to once again forget Valentine's Day, even though I remembered it a month ago at the BX at Scott! Snap out of it! Wake up! Get the goods!
However, I wasn't snapping out of it. I wandered out to the kitchen and plugged in the coffee pot. Gotta have my joe before I can do anything at all. I cannot function until I swallow some coffee and the caffeine kicks in. Wake up! I was ruining Valentine's Day! Me lovely mate, Anne, would be arising soon, and she would have no beautiful Valentine's Day gift awaiting her on the countertop, on her way to the aroma of that fresh-brewed coffee.
Get that java going, Griggs! It's Valentine's Day, and you're clueless! Wake up before it's too late!
As the coffeemaker began gurgling, pitching and spewing out hot joe, I turned on the television and tuned in "CBS This Morning." Suddenly, Norah O'Donnell or Gayle King or J.B. Brown – I guess Charlie Rose was off this morning – told me that today is Valentine's Day. Yow! I ran to the closet, rummaged through my messes and found the bag. Quickly, I ran to the counter that divides the kitchen and dining area, and I placed the bag perfectly in view, along the way to the coffee pot.
I poured myself a cup of joe and smiled. But wait! I forgot to sign the tag that hangs on the handles of the darn bag! I ran to get my Sharpie pen without waking up my valentine. I grabbed it and ran back to the counter. Rats! I had grabbed the fat Sharpie instead of the thin one! I'm a dope! I ran back, snatched the correct one, ran back to the counter, and I signed the gift tag that dangles from the gift bag. Done.
Now I'm drinking my fresh-brewed café and gradually becoming functional. And I didn't forget my valentine, who will probably enjoy some of her Valentine's Day chocolate with her coffee this morning. Can't believe I remembered. Can't remember the last time I did.