Oh, darling Clementine!

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Ah, St. Valentine’s Day! It was the day when romantic songs like Air Supply’s LOST IN LOVE, Natalie Cole’s THIS WILL BE, and Dionne Warwick’s I KNOW I’LL NEVER LOVE THIS WAY swamped the airwaves. And roses, chocolates, perfume, cards and jewellery ruled the day. For example, the story is told of Ramona, who awoke yesterday and intimated to her husband that she’d had a lovely Valentine’s Day dream, to wit, that he’d given her an expensive gold necklace. She wanted to know what it meant. The husband was initially at a loss for words, but he replied, “I am not sure what it means, but if you wait until tonight, you’ll find out.”

After a hearty dinner, Ramona excitedly opened the heart-shaped box that her husband had given her. She could barely contain herself. As she lifted the lid and peeked in, she saw a book. She took it out and read the title, THE MEANING OF DREAMS. Good grief! It is a safe bet that Ramona’s husband slept on the couch that night. Indeed, for many nights thereafter.

Clearly, Valentine’s Day gifts are important. Especially to women. Quite frankly, we think many of us men could skip this day. You see, it stresses us out. The conundrum lies, not only in trying to strike the right romantic note, but in trying to find the perfect gift.  In the days leading up to the so-called ‘day of love,’ women get all excited in anticipation. They buy sexy lingerie with undies emblazoned with hearts and kisses. Some of the undies are of the edible variety. They buy scented candles and erotic body lotions. They get the hair and nails done.  They make sure that everything and everywhere is ‘well-groomed.’ There is a palpable air of expectancy.

One of our colleagues learnt that the hard way last year when he gave his Valentine’s Day date three red roses instead of the obligatory dozen. Needless to say, when he showed up at her house that evening with the three roses, she frowned and put them on the table.  There was no big bear-hug for him! No rapturous exclamations of how gorgeous they were!  And right there and then, he knew that the evening was off to a bad start. Now, his lady friend was a little older than he, but what did he care? He was in my full ‘mannish’ mode. And she knew it. Many times in the past when his hormones would rage, and he would reach for a little ‘sumn sumn’, she would always gently object by saying, “Good things come to those who wait!” Many times she would tease him by suggestively mouthing the words of King Obstinate’s song, “Got a little something for you!” with the caveat, “If you’re a good boy!”  She would further pique his interest by giving him a preview of two pieces of ‘small clothes’ that she’d purchased at a local lingerie store. Needless to say, he was on his best behaviour. He wanted that gift – that ‘little something’ that she claimed she had for him.  

Anyway, to make a long story short, after a rather delightful candlelight dinner, (she is a great cook) they repaired to the inner sanctum for a little recreation. Unfortunately, despite the romantic ambiance, he couldn’t get anything going. To this day, he has no idea what the hell happened. Suffice it say, it was an embarrassingly ‘short’ story!  His lady friend was so disgusted that she quickly declared that she was sleepy, and it was time for him to leave. The last thing he remembers, she was blowing out the scented candles and parading in the ‘small clothes’ from the lingerie store and saying, “Take one final look at what you will never see again!” Tsk! Tsk! Where was Gregory Isaacs’ admonition to COOL DOWN THE PACE when he needed it?

Of course, he not the only unlucky fella on Valentine’s Day. No. Yesterday, many of us had to abide the ‘Snow-white’ Valentine.  Seemed, nothing was good enough. It was either too hard or too soft or too long or too short or too bumpy or too smooth or too hot or too cold or too cheap or too sweet. ‘Damned if he did, and damned if you did’nt,’ eh? Then there was the ‘extortionist’ 

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