Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Funny Valentine, aka Mr. Lucky

When Mr. Lucky asked what I wanted for Valentine’s Day this year, I responded with the usual: “A mushy card and a Big Heart-Shaped Box Of Chocolates I can have all to myself.”

I have to add those last six words because if I don’t, he’ll break into the BHSBOC before I do. One year he actually bought an extra BHSBOC, so there was one for me and one for himself.

Today he gave me the BHSBOC, and a card that plays Barry White singing, “I Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe.” He said he tried to find a card with Elton John—because he knows Elton is my absolute favorite—but since he couldn’t, he wound up choosing message over messenger.

On our second Valentine’s Day as husband and wife (with a four month old baby), he forgot what day it was until that evening. He ran out to the grocery store next door to the apartment complex where we lived, where he bought and brought home to me the only thing they had left that was remotely Valentine-related: A box of Barbie valentines for passing out to one’s elementary school classmates. They were fifty percent off.

Nineteen years later, we still make jokes about that one.

Over the years, he’s given me little teddy bears clutching hearts with mushy love messages stitched on them. One Valentine’s Day I found not one, but two bears snuggled together on our bed. When I put their noses together as if to make them kiss, the girl bear’s cheeks lit up in a pink blush.

He gives me faux Faberge eggs from the Bradford Exchange that are replicas of the ones Tsar Nicholas II gave to his wife Alexandra, complete with a curio cabinet in which to display them. I've always been fascinated by royalty in general; but Mr. Lucky is aware I have a special affinity for Nicholas and Alexandra.

I would never ask for those eggs myself, because of the expense, but the fact remains I secretly adore all things Romanov. (This includes Strawberries Romanov and da, even Noodles Romanov.)

The man knows my weaknesses.

For his official military retirement ceremony last year, he followed the custom of buying a huge bouquet of 22 roses for the wife, one for each year he’d served in the military. All were red but one, which was pink in honor of our late daughter Fiona. I hadn’t expected that; he kept it as a surprise.

And, of course, there’s the ladybug pin he gave to me for our fifteenth wedding anniversary, because he hadn’t forgotten that two ladybugs had landed on me the day before he proposed to me. I hadn’t mentioned those ladybugs in years—yet he remembered, even though most days, he can’t remember where he left his keys.

The late great Erma Bombeck gave the best advice ever about finding the perfect gift for the woman in your life. She said, “There is the woman you see and there is the woman who is hidden. Buy the gift for the woman who is hidden.”

When I mentioned this to my husband the other day, he shook his head and said, “I don’t have the slightest idea what that means!”

Oh yes, he does.

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