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Opinion: Be my Valentine

Sunday is a day for love.

Flower arrangements and candy are typical gifts a man gives his sweetheart commemorating the event. Jewelry is always a nice present too.

My first Valentine’s Day with my husband, he went the whole route. He came home from work with a cardboard heart full of chocolates and a bouquet of my favorite posies, red carnations. That was 45 years ago.

Since then, our Valentine’s Day gifts have been hit and miss. One year he sent me a bouquet of flowers at work. Attached to it was a hose that was needed to repair my kitchen sink. After days of nagging, it was fixed before I went to work the following day. I have often said Fred could be the world’s greatest procrastinator, but he keeps putting it off.

Getting flowers at work is always a kick. The girl who gets flowers delivered has automatic bragging rights among her female coworkers.

Take heed, gentlemen. If you have a special lady friend, you had better do something special for her on Valentine’s Day or expect to spend some time in the doghouse, courtesy of your lady love.

Valentine’s Day may be a made-up holiday perpetrated by the card, candy and florist companies, but it is real. So, my advice is deal with it. This is one of the classic, ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, situations.

Most couples have a secret code where they communicate thoughts and feeling in their own language.

It might be a quote from a favorite movie or a passage from a book that conveys private messages. There are many ways to say I love you without using the words. As an example, Fred makes sure I have the best car we own to do my driving.

He doesn’t want me to have trouble on the road. That is one way he says I love you.

My dear parents never had a brand-new car in their life. The day we bought our first new car, Fred asked me not to smoke in it.

That has to be at least 40 years ago. I have never smoked a cigarette in the car since. That’s one way I say I love you.

Now if he had told me I wasn’t allowed to smoke in the car we would have had a problem. But instead he asked me, and since I would do anything in the world he asked, I refrain from smoking in the car.

The night we got engaged was a Monday. He turned off Monday Night Football to talk about it. We had been sharing a residence for about four years. I had long since decided never to get married.

He told me he landed a job with Madera Irrigation District and they had great medical insurance so we should get married. I guess I figured there must come a time when you stop playing house and start living it.

That night, I made a proclamation and said if you think this means you get to boss me around, you should marry someone else. He asked why he should think marriage would alter the way he treated me.

Many people have told me just how much my parents loved each other and it ended in a very sad divorce. There are lots of reasons their marriage failed. They were married between my mother’s junior and senior year of high school. While she was 18-years-old, she was still too young to be married.

She told me many times during my childhood to not be in a hurry to grow up because once you are an adult, you stay an adult for a very long time. They were married on July 3, 1948.

Mom attended her senior year at Madera Union High School and graduated in June with the class of 1949. She also had my oldest brother Rocky, born the month before. On the flipside of their unhappy marriage, after the divorce neither one ever married again. Growing up surrounded by their marital discourse soured me on the institution.

Also, I had to find a man not interested in becoming a father. I dated some great guys during my teenage years and only two of them felt as I did about having kids. So, I married one of them.

Being married is a hard job. Is it vulgar to think the key to a successful marriage is inertia and lowered expectations?

We went to Reno on Thanksgiving Day in 1979 and were married there.

Recently, I ran across a book we bought on our wedding day. We were married early Friday morning and spent the rest of the day touring the Harrah’s antique car collection. Instead of a wedding album, we have the special edition of the guide book from Harrah’s Automobile Collection.

Looking back on it, I smile. I wanted my brand-new husband to think I was the coolest wife ever. Seeing one antique fully restored automobile is a neat experience. Spending the day looking at hundreds of them, not so much.

All our friends at the time of our marriage said it wouldn’t last. Well, the joke is on them. We are still married to our original spouse and they are on their second or third marriages.

In my family, we had five marriages in 1979. My cousins, Lori and Van Woody and Fred and I are the only two marriages still intact.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a great Valentines weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter



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