by Hope Madden
I got up last Valentine’s Day morn to a package containing two tee shirts. One was a Leonard Cohen tee. I love me some Leonard Cohen, and George had long heard my complaints that I’d been too cheap to buy a shirt the last time Cohen performed in Columbus. Our son Riley had splurged on one, and every time I saw him wear it, I openly coveted the garment and bemoaned my cursed frugalness. So last February, George rectified the issue nicely.
There was also a bonus garment: a white tee shirt that read “I’m fine” above an enormous blood stain. Nice!
I donned the bloody tee shirt and marched off to work. (Since it was not Casual Friday, I naturally paired the shirt with a respectable blazer so as to broadcast my bone-deep professionalism.)
I was pleased as can be, but it turns out the shirts were only a diversion from the real gift.
George and I had planned to meet for a lunch date at 1:30. George called around noon to confirm. I confirmed. George sounded mildly distressed.
I picked him up at 1:30.
He continued to seem distressed.
As I pulled in to park, my phone rang. George asked, “Is that my phone?”
This struck me as odd. I have, as a ringtone, the theme from the movie Halloween. If you’re not me, you don’t hear that song and think, “Is my phone ringing?” Instead, you might think, “When was the last time I saw our butcher knife?”
My ringing phone was in my purse, which was on the floor in front of George’s feet, so I ignored it. George, however, did not. He fumbled madly through the purse to hand me the phone, which I’d previously had no intention of answering, but did so now.
It was my colleague Christie. She thought I should call our boss. She was cryptic at best. She seemed amused, even.
I hung up, and immediately our receptionist called me.
George took the phone.
“Put him on….That’s not what I said…Your email said 10 am…I don’t see how that’s going to help anything…Great!”
Perplexing. Why the hubbub?
It turns out that George had arranged for the Columbus Clippers to send a Valentine to my office at 10 that morning. They were tardy. Apparently, they had e-mailed a notice of the time change but that e-mail, now a full year later, has yet to arrive.
At 2pm, both Clippers’ mascots – Lou Seal and Krash the pirate parrot – plus several other pep squad types, arrived at my place of employment bearing a basketful of flowers, baseball tickets, snack treats and balloons, and, of course, a great deal of spirit and pep.
As you know, I was not there. Instead, I was about to partake of a lunchtime sub with my incredibly thoughtful, wildly disappointed husband.
The Clippers posse made a little circuit around my office, entertaining everyone and, frankly, making all the other husbands in the place look bad.
Oh, did you get flowers? I had balloons delivered by a guy in a seal suit who mimed sliding into home plate in front of the Editor in Chief’s office door.
The fact that all this was done in vane only made George that much more tragically romantic to my officemates.
So, what does my exuberantly romantic husband have planned for this Valentine’s Day? There is a new Die Hard movie releasing this weekend, correct?
Well, you can’t slide into home every year.