Pack Creek Ranch, San Juan County, Utah
February 14, 2013
Note: The following story is fiction – I repeat FICTION.
A man I know was in the local supermarket on Monday.
In the Special Occasions section of the Seasonal Holidays aisle.
Valentine’s Day is featured this week.
He was carefully considering the shelves.
Eight feet high – fifty feet long – a mighty display of red, heart-shaped boxes of candy in sizes ranging from the size of an oatmeal cookie to the size of a ten-person pizza.
“I didn’t know you were into Valentine’s Day,” said I.
“I’m not – until a couple of days before, and then my irrational mind slips into the driver’s seat – and I run off the road into the pit of love.
I think of it as having my annual heart attack.”
“So what are you looking for?”
“Three boxes of chocolate – medium size – generous but not stupid.
“Three? Who are they for?”
“Well . . . one is for an older lady who runs a local restaurant where I eat breakfast sometimes. I asked her if she had any Valentine’s Day plans and she said, No, but she wished somebody still loved her enough to give her one of those big red boxes of chocolate.
She sighed, and said, That’s never going to happen.”
“I’m going to get the box she wants, put it in a bag on her front porch while she’s at work, and add a note that says From A Secret Admirer, with Love. I do admire her, and I love her cooking - so . . . why not?”
“And the second box?”
“It’s in memory of my second wife, from who I am long divorced.”
“What? I thought you hated her.”
“Sometimes I do – but I also remember when I loved her and always gave her a box of candy for Valentine’s.
Despite how I feel now, there were some fine times back there – and buying her the candy hooks me back into good memories. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
And I’ll never be indifferent about our life together, even though I’ll probably never see her again.”
“But she’s a long way away. Who are you going to give the candy to – your present wife?”
“Oh, no – for one thing she doesn’t like candy – and for another I don’t want to explain why I bought it.
Besides, we have other ways of saying we love each other.
“I’m going to send it to an old lady who has recently been widowed.
She was happily married to Bill for 56 years.
Theirs was a great love.
The note will say, We remember your love – and give you this, as Bill would have done. From Friends of Bill.
“And the third box of Valentine’s candy?”
“That’s for me. I’ll eat it in the car on the way home.
Nobody’s going to give me one, but I want one, even though I hate to admit it. Remember that phrase from the 60’s song ‘If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with’.
The one I will be with until I get home is me – parked alone in my car.
It’s ok to love yourself sometimes, you know.”
As I said, this is fiction.
None of it really happened.
But it should have, and could have . . .