Valentine’s Day: Lessons learned the hard way

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Feb. 13, 2013, is a day that lives in romantic infamy.

There’s no going back and unwriting the editorial that appeared on this very page seven Valentine’s Day Eves ago, a deed that within hours familiarized the editor with a cold shoulder and a lonely couch.

It was not the last time a poorly contrived opinion leaked from his pen, but its stain remains, impervious to bleach or sand blaster.

“For men only, please,” the headline prompted, which was the surest way to invite feminine eyes.

Including Mrs. Editor’s.

The words are as painfully fresh today as they were back then. Remember?

• • •

Guys, the complaint department is now open.

It’s open because that chubby little cherub might have dipped his love arrows in potions of passion, but he’s not aiming at your heart. The rascal’s drawn a bull’s-eye on your wallet, and for what? For a holiday dreamed up just to deprive you of your hard-earned wages, that’s what.

If simple Valentine’s Day cards going for six or seven bucks a pop don’t burst your amorous bubble, try buying a half decent flower arrangement. Lucky for you the banks are open tomorrow, so financing for her fleurs de coeur can be arranged.

One upside is that several restaurants are offering fine meals at reasonable prices in honor of the day of romance, but overall, if you feel like marketing giants have mashed your unmentionables — before you’ve fully recovered from Yet Another Commercial Christmas, no less — you aren’t alone.

So gripe to the poor sap standing next to you in the depleted gift card aisle if you must, and get it all off your chest. Maybe you’ll feel better. You’ll certainly feel poorer.

The complaint department is now closed.

• • •

We dredge that bitter memory up from the depths not to reopen old wounds, but to fortify an important lesson learned. It is this:

Folks, there is nothing wrong with thoughtfully purchasing for your sweetheart baubles or boxes of bonbons today. If that quickens your partner’s pulse, who cares about the cost?

In our revised view poignantly shaped by the cushions of that long ago lonely couch, we might humbly suggest bestowing romantic experiences upon your beloved. In loving memory, these will outlast a collection of chocolates or the fresh petals of a bouquet — though there’s nothing wrong with over-priced cards and presents for Valentine’s Day. Not a darn thing.

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