Source: Sherman Publications

Be my Valentine—or not
Guest column

by Bill Kalmar

February 10, 2010

Many of us, I’m sure, already have plans for this coming Valentine’s Day.  Mary and I will be having a romantic dinner at one of our favorite restaurants - The Early American Room in the Dearborn Inn. 

Then, off to a “Valentine’s Rock N’ Roll Spectacular” concert. 

You early rock and rollers might remember some of the acts that will be performing:  The Platters (“Great Pretender”), Eddie Holman (“Hey There Lonely Girl”), The Flamingos (“I Only Have Eyes for You”), The Mystics (“Hush a Bye”), and The Reflections (“Just Like Romeo and Juliet”).

For you youngsters out there, these were huge acts back in the ‘50s and ‘60s when music actually had words you could understand and words you could say in front of your children.

So we will be acting groovy (another word from the ‘50s) and having a wonderful evening.  Maybe we can find a sock hop somewhere, too – another ‘50s tradition. 

Whatever the case though, hope your plans will include your favorite companion.

Valentine’s Day also has a somber meaning for our family.   It was on this day nineteen years ago that my Dad had a heart attack and subsequently died a month later. 

At his funeral I gave the eulogy and mentioned that Dad always had a flair for the dramatic and thus his Valentine’s Day heart attack and death on the first day of Spring was his way of forever imbedding those dates in our mind. 

Actually he didn’t have to do that because we would never forget him.

Dad started Valentine’s Day by giving Mom a huge heart shaped box of candy.  He then went outside to clear the snow with a snow blower.  Returning to the warmth of their home, he sat down, had a heart attack, and was in coma until he died.  

Mom kept that box of candy until her passing ten years later.  So Valentine’s Day in our family certainly has a special meaning.

There are others, though, who I wonder what plans they will have for this special day and what memories they will cradle in their hearts. 

Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out what Tiger Woods is doing for Valentine’s Day?  Wonder if he will be sending cards to all his girlfriends?  And what would the cards state – “Be My Valentine But Don’t Tell My Wife!” 

Tiger is probably still contemplating why he followed the Nike commercial admonition  of  “Just Do It!”

Former Senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards has a dilemma too since he has two Valentines to send out – one to his wife, who has filed for divorce, and one for his girlfriend.  Anyone know if there is a Valentine card that states, “You Are My Secret Valentine With A Child I Just Acknowledged After Two Years.”

And who can forget all his campaign speeches about ethics and morality?  What a joke!

How about Hugh Hefner.  Does he send out Valentine cards to all the bunnies or does he just make a general announcement?  He has had so many, shall we say, interactions, that it must be difficult to send out cards. 

I’ll bet his Valentine’s Day card reads:  “To whom it may concern – You may or may not have been my Valentine but since I am now 84 years old you should understand if I don’t remember you.   Happy Valentine’s Day, anyway.”

Somehow I think the words from the Julio Iglesias/Willie Nelson song is always playing in the Hefner mansion:

    To all the girls I’ve loved before

   Who traveled in and out my door

    I’m glad they came along

    I dedicate this song

    To all the girls I’ve loved before

And who can forget the Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, who proclaimed that his “soul mate” was not his wife but a lover in Argentina.  He took a trip to visit her while his aides stated he was hiking in the Appalachian Mountains.  He gets this card from his wife:  “Happy Valentine’s Day Putz!  Now go take a long hike in the mountains.”

So there you have it – cards for every situation.  However you celebrate this day, make it special for yourself and someone else. 

I’ll be with my special Valentine on this day.  Will you?  Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!