Aside from the children and my engagement ring (because of what it symbolizes), my most favorite gift josh ever gave me can be found below.
I have posted this before, but I recently mentioned it to a friend who had not read it, so here it is.
Josh wrote this for me after our second Valentine's Day together, while we were still dating. At the time he worked for a newspaper and this piece was published in that paper.
I'm a Valentine's Schmuck
A day to show your undying love for that special soulmate and promise
her your affections until the sands in the hour glass of time trickle to
the bottom and fall still.
Or if you're one of the millions of Average Joe's such as myself, it's a
date marked on the calendar with a giant black "X" as an impending
Why? Because I always, without exception, manage to botch this supposedly simple holiday every single year.
Yes, another one has come to pass, ladies and gentlemen, and once again I
share a doghouse with many a fellow man around the globe.
I don't know why, but this stuff happens to me year after year. After
all, my intentions are good. But like The Simpson's Ned Flanders once
said, "I can't feed my family on good intentions, Marge."
Last year, it was a tsunami of problems when I ventured forth into the
kitchen in search of adventure, danger and dinner. Like Indiana Jones
exploring the pre-Columbian ruins in the beginning of Raiders of the
Lost Ark, I entered a place where only the bravest of men dare to
venture and few ever return unscathed.
Cooking is obviously unfamiliar territory for me, but for my true love
I'd climb the highest mountain, brave the deepest sea and ruin the
I had found a meal on the Internet (honey-mustard salmon, if you're
interested) that promised to be so simple, a small child was capable of
preparing it. However, the supermarket was all sold out of "small
child," so I was flying solo on this mission.
Remember that scene from the movie where Indiana was fleeing the cave as
a giant boulder threatens to crush him underneath its massive weight?
Well, substitute "boulder" with "stench of burnt mustard-coated fish"
and the scenarios are practically interchangeable.
Even my dog wouldn't come out of hiding for three days and had to be fed by my old roommate. I can't say I blame him, though.
So, with the idea of cooking scratched forever more by my girlfriend and
the good people of the Solomon's Volunteer Fire Department, I had to
take a completely different approach to this year's Valentine's Day
gift. This time, I thought the best approach would be to just simply ask
her what she wanted and then deliver it to her that day.
Can't miss plan, eh?
Well, for all practical purposes, it should have been. My girlfriend,
the doll that she is, asked for two things and only two things: a CD of
songs I would burn for her and a gift certificate to the hardware store
so she could select paint for her kitchen redecoration project.
It was handed to me, fellas. This Valentine's Day is going to be a
cinch! All I had to do was remember to do two little things. Couldn't be
I have a few theories on why men forget all the things that women tell us.
When early Neanderthal man was young and still hot-to-trot on the
hunter/gatherer concept of society, the man and woman had two very
different roles. Men went out and threw sharp sticks at the dinner,
while women stayed home to care for the family.
Women listened to the needs and wants of the children and made mental notes on how to improve the family's way of life.
Men threw sharp sticks at things.
Women told the men how they felt life could be made easier if certain changes to their lives were made.
Men threw sharp sticks at things.
The role each sex played back then determined how many of us act today.
Women communicate to us what they want, men throw the remote at the TV
when the Dolphins turn the ball over. Times haven't changed all that
So this past V-Day, I showered, shaved, picked up the CD, bought a very
sophisticated bottle of wine that happens to be one of her favorites and
began to walk out the front door when I realized that something was
missing. What was it? What did she tell me? Was it something important?
Oh, silly me, I know what I'm missing ... a Valentine's Day card, of
course! So 10 minutes before my arrival at her home I was out at the
supermarket, card-shopping for that special someone.
Why they don't overstock grocery stores with Valentine's Day cards is
beyond me. How many do they actually order, anyway, 12 or 13? But being
of quick mind and exquisite judgment, I made one of the most brilliant
decisions in the history of Man, a move so legendary that it will be
forever recorded in the annals of Man history.
I'll just spice up a non-Valentine's Day card!
Let's see what we got here: "Dear grandson ...." Nope, that one won't
do. "With our deepest condolences ...." Nah, too heavy. "Happy
Anniversary!" Yeah, close enough. What's the difference, right?
After crossing off a couple of the more trivial words such as "Happy
25th Anniversary" and "After 25 years of being married to you" I was in
business! Just a few scribblings with my pen and it was an entirely new
Being the debonair kind of guy that I am, I presented Nikki with her
gifts and asked her a romantic question: "What time do we eat?"
But of course, if you've been paying attention, you've probably already
noticed that there was no mention of the hardware gift certificate or of
any paint. That's because I forgot all about it and was subtly reminded
the next day as we drove by the store on our way grocery-shopping.
My memory works fine on stuff like sports scores and statistics, but
just seems to go to waste on stuff like that. I know I'm not the only
one, but I'll be darned if I'm not going to do better next year. Because
I'm going to remember what she wants. I'm going to get it done ahead of
time to avoid all the embarrassment of looking like an insensitive
Because when all is said and done, it really is all about your partner's
... WHAT?!?!?! The Yankees picked up A-Rod? Not the Yankees! Anyone but
Now where, was I? Oh yeah, throwin' sticks.