Every year, around the first of February, Mr. Lucky points out that Valentine’s Day is coming up. “What do you want?” he always asks.
And my response is always, “A big heart-shaped box of chocolate—that I can have all to myself!”
I have to add those last seven words, or he’ll break into the box before I do and devour two-thirds of the contents before leaving the rest for me. Usually he’ll buy an extra box for himself.
Then last Thursday, Mr. Lucky and I got into a terrible, screaming argument, so awful that we didn’t speak to each other for nearly a week. Depending on whose side you’re on, the fight was either about my total lack of patience or his failure to show up at the time I specified.
Suffice it to say I’m a stickler for punctuality, while outside of work he basks in his very own time zone. This has been a never ending source of conflict during twenty-one years of marriage, more than the sex, money, or dirty socks touted by the women’s magazines. I doubt we will ever find common ground on this issue. It wasn’t the first skirmish in this volatile territory, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
But the timing of this particular fight—only two days before Valentine’s Day—left me with the cold, sickening realization that I’d probably just screwed myself out of any goodies the following Saturday.
O me of little faith! After he left for work early Saturday morning, I got out of bed and went into the kitchen to find a heart-shaped box of chocolates sitting on the counter. It was very plain, with no lace or bows or plastic roses. At least it wasn’t the one I’d seen at Walgreens earlier in the week, that boasted a sepia picture of a scowling old grouch with the snarling inscription, “Here are your chocolates—what more do you want?”
Mr. Lucky left no note with the chocolates. No mushy card. No teddy bear. No flowers. No balloons. No jewelry. No faux Faberge eggs. No fishing tackle, golf clubs, or the Bowflex Ultimate X-Treme Deluxe Digital Family Gym for Home, Office, or Still in Its Original Box Under the Bed. (“Fine, Karen. If you don’t want them, then I can always find a use for them.”) And—thank heavens—no weird lingerie for me to string and lace and hook around my body. It’s not that I have anything against sexy lingerie. I just happen to know other, more dignified ways to make him fall to the floor laughing.
One of my TARA sisters, upon hearing the gorier details of this sordid tale, said I should have told him where to put the chocolates.
Good advice and very tempting, but in the end (ahem) I couldn’t do it. For one thing, if I didn’t eat them—HE would have! And he wouldn’t have felt the least bit guilty about it, either. Why, he would have considered himself the victor then and there. For all I know, he was even hoping I would reject the chocolates, just so he could have them all to himself.
And for another thing, I can’t possibly turn my back on chocolate. Not on any principle or for any cause. Besides, I’d earned them. So I ate them.
The important thing is we’re speaking again—oh, and that I still got the chocolate.