A tale of two Valentines



I’m considering giving up Valentine’s Day for Lent.

I know, I know! I’ve got the holiday order totally reversed. But what do old farts need with Valentines anyway?

I say this, because, as I proudly presented my mate with his annual little Russell Stovers’ four-pack and a funny card that outlined my old-age-imperfect love, he immediately noted, “This is the same card you got me last year.”

Of course, I hotly contested that assertion . . . until he produced the evidence.

I refrained from a counter-attack that would have noted the only reason he couldn’t be guilty of the same offense is the fact that he didn’t get me a card at all.

I’ll bet that if he could, he would buy a Valentine for his truck, since he has such a fondness (weakness?) for his vehicles. In fact, several years ago I wrote a column about being displaced by 17″ wheels and sexy running lights on his truck de jour. Here is what I wrote back then . . . which you may recognize as a sneaky way to get my revenge for the lack of a Valentine this year. It will be one of the items in my soon-to-be-published book, “Letters from Home: Adventures with Mad Mother, Lemonade Man and the Kid.” Coming soon to a website or bookstore near you:

I always suspected that men preferred hunks of metal to warm flesh. Now it’s been confirmed. Couldn’t help but be a little jealous recently when Lemonade Man spoke more lovingly of his Ford F-150 than he does of his almost-50 wife. 

He calls her “Big Lou,” and while he’s had this truck for well over a year, he never ceases to admire his possession, asking me to appreciate the sexy running lights on the custom running boards, or to listen to the growl of the engine and the roar of the glass packs he just had to have installed after the neighbor came home with his.

Mechanical gadgets have an allure for the male species that no mere flesh and blood woman can ever compete with. Take the auto-start function on Big Lou. On cold mornings, Lemonade Man just pushes a button from the warmth of the dining room, aims it in Big Lou’s direction, and when he’s ready for work, the truck is warm and toasty.

“She gets started a lot easier in the mornings than you do,” he remarked recently. Could be because all I get is decaf coffee while Big Lou gets an auto-start caress and high octane fuel.

The really bad thing about the love affair with a truck is that Big Lou has 17″ wheels and Lemonade Man is 5’3″ and shrinking. His insurance agent still tells the story of this huge truck parking in front of his building and this man getting out of it and then disappearing. It totally dwarfs him. And climbing into it is a feat.

Guess I’ll put up with Big Lou because she’s great to have for hauling yard waste. The verdict’s still out on whether having a big garbage can with running lights is worth diverting and diluting a husband’s affections. But if he decides to put one more gadget on the thing, he can start making his bed in it.