Way back long before people were concerned about someone's feelings being hurt, the teachers would have each of us decorate an old shoe box and set it in the window in hopes of getting a Valentine from our admirers.
Choosing an appropriate message for 22 classmates out of 30 cheesy sounding cards was a challenge as you didn't want to give too personal a card to anyone except little Susi Doltmeyer who you hoped would respond in kind.
The day would finally arrive when we opened up our cards and would find out that Susi didn't even give me a card but gave Jimmy Quazar a card and a chocolate bar.
Hearts would melt like that candy in his pocket and another lot of disappointed Romeo's would sullenly carry their boxes full of crummy cards and loose candy hearts home to inquiring mothers.
The day is named after a Saint Valentine of which no less than 11 men named the same are celebrated by the Catholic Church as Saints. This alone gives plenty of credence to saying “Valentine's Day” as opposed to the singular as a lot of do-gooders are prone to point out lest you add the “s” in their presence.
Whatever your pronunciation of the day, it is a day filled with fear and loathing by men around the world because this is a day where you lay it all on the line, again. Of course Birthdays, Christmas and Anniversaries are of the same caliber of importance but this one will either make or break a man in the love business.
Why it became a time for men to express their feelings for their beloved and not the other way around is beyond me. It was like giving a gift to my wife on Mother's Day. That just does not make sense. She is not my mother.
The stores now start stocking heart-shaped boxes of candy the day after Christmas and even “The Wal-Mart” has flowers a man can rush in and buy at the last minute thereby saving what is known as “planning ahead.”
This early stocking of Valentine's Day paraphernalia is a detriment as a man cannot plan that far in advance and tends to deaden his senses to the urgency of the coming date.
Product placement is a huge part of marketing and I soon look for the flowers to be next to the gun case so we men can find them more readily while shopping for that new rifle for the spouse.
Some men go all-out and include a dinner and a movie and the savvy man will try and include a sexy lacy outfit from Victoria's Secret in hopes of a style show later in the evening.
The last time Ol' Dutch attempted that approach, we were too worn-out trying to figure out how it goes on that there was no energy left over for the style show. Not to mention if you get too small or too large a size that’s the end of all shows. Best to leave those secrets with Victoria.
So there we were--Cooper and I--at the store looking for something for Trixie but with her along it’s almost impossible to get anything red, sexy or touching as her long female nose gets in my cart.
So we turned to the true and tried gift that keeps on giving and the look on her face as she opened the new .22 rifle was priceless. A man just cannot out give when it comes to true love. Long live Remington Arms.