Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine Tutorial

Note to Readers: As I threatened in an earlier post this week, this post is under consideration for inclusion in the third volume of  the Of Moose and Men series. I thought it was apropos.

At an early February meeting of the North Road Supportive Men (NoRSMen - a benevolent men’s society dedicated to the fuller appreciation of generic beer, smelly cigars and romantic holidays) Valentine’s Day came up for discussion. It seems Knucks Mahoneigh’s son, Timmy, had a special girl on his mind. With the approach of Valentine’s Day, he figured it would be an opportune time to announce his intentions with a gift, but wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. Naturally, he assumed his dad would prove to be a source of sound advice.

“Poor little fellow,” B.B. commented, “he must’ve been really desperate.”

“What makes you say that?” Knucks asked defensively. “Why wouldn’t he ask his old man about wooing girls? I’ve got crazy mad skills when it comes to romance.”

“You heard me all wrong,” B.B. said quickly. “Would either of you guys have asked your dads about how to impress girls when you were ten?”  

The response was immediate and in unison. “Absolutely not, no way.” 

A gift that will bring tears to her eyes
Each of us took a turn discussing what our fathers had taught us about how not to be romantic. The list of affronts to the romantic spirit was long, and the actual deeds were incredible. There was the slicer/dicer hand chopper for onions on Valentine’s Day, and the E-Z-Fold ironing board with the space-age, no-scorch cover for a birthday present. But the top prize went to my own dad for buying Mom a lawn mower on Mother’s Day, so that I could cut the grass. When I recounted that incident, it fairly brought Knucks and B.B. to their feet in a standing ovation.

With such examples of romantic ineptitude, we agreed what our fathers did not know about giving romantic gifts was legion. Consulting them on the matter would have been tantamount to Miss Manners consulting Genghis Khan on socially acceptable behavior in large crowds. 

“Yeah, but we’re different than our dads,” Knucks argued, “I mean, we’re more in tune with feelings and personal sensitivities. After all, we live in the age of political correctness.”

“Oh yeah,” B.B. snorted, “you’re a shining example of a sensitive, new-millennium kind of guy. Let’s talk about the used garage door opener you got Stacie.” 

“What about it?”

“Well, as I recall, you got it for her birthday last fall, right? If that’s the case, why did she mention to my wife that the one, and only, clicker is always in your rig?” 

Good intentions, poor execution

For a brief moment, it looked like B.B. had Knucks cornered, but he was quick to provide a marginally plausible explanation.

“That’s because I always drive when we go someplace. If I keep the clicker in my rig, Stacie doesn’t have to get out to open and close the garage door.” 

“You are truly a sensitive guy, Knucks.”

“No, Poynor is a truly sensitive guy,” Knucks countered in defense. “A.E. wasn’t it you that bought your wife a pistol for Christmas?” 

“That was an honest attempt at good gift giving,” I countered. “I was always told to give gifts I’d like to get myself. That was a nice pistol. Besides, I thought shooting might be something we could do together.”

I offered no additional explanation. The raucous laughter would have drowned out any further discussion of the matter. 

“And you, B.B.,” Knucks continued after the guffaws had died down to derisive snorts, “what did I hear you got for Donna this year? Snowshoes!”

B.B. just shrugged. “With all the snow we got before Christmas, it seemed like a good idea. Donna mentioned how much she missed going for walks, so I figured the snowshoes would surprise her... which they did.” 

“Oooh, baby! I’ll bet that warmed the cockles of her heart. Did you get her a pair of those long, sleek freighters, or some of those cute, little bear paws with pastel bindings?”

The examples of bad judgement in gift giving continued to pour forth until an uneasy silence fell upon the meeting.

“My God, boys,” B.B. murmured, “we’ve become our fathers.” 

Knucks and I nodded in thoughtful agreement. Genetics is a force not to be trifled with - political correctness be damned.

“So, Knucks, what advice did you give to Timmy when he asked you about a Valentine’s Day gift for his girl?” 

“I did what any sensitive, politically correct, new-millennium kind of father should do: I told him to ask his mom.”



  1. I want you to know, Terry regularly tells people the gold detector story. It is legendary.