Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cupid's Assistant

I will freely admit it. I am a hopeful, incurable romantic. Although currently single, young, and free (and having a choice in two of those three adjectives), I have had occasion to bring out the side of me that will spoil someone. Valentine's Day 1994 was my most memorable and enjoyable celebration. That day, I had my hand in four gifts to various people.

With A Song In My Heart

I was a member of a chamber choir as a grad student. I suggested to the rest of the group to give our director a dozen red roses. They were presented to her at a noon concert, just before we sang "My Love Is Like A Red Rose". I wound up paying for the lion's share of it, despite the fact it was suppose to be a "group effort".

"Houston, Do You Copy?"

At the time, I had been corresponding with a single mom living in Houston, Texas for nine months. We had met in person a couple of weeks before Christmas, a four-day weekend getting to know each other better. For this day, I had wired a floral bouquet, sent a card, and later that night called her. But, the relationship went downhill after that and ended five months later.

Lesson learned: Romance cannot be used to paper over differences.

Oh, Canada

Meanwhile, there was a lady from Montreal, Quebec with whom I had experienced the feeling of "falling in love". Hard. Head. Over. Heels. As subtly as I could, I tried to get her attention--her birthday, Christmas, and at Easter the most heart-felt letter I have ever written. As President and Founder of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Stuffed Animals, I gave her a teddy bear, a card, and introductory letter from the Society describing how to properly care for her new charge. Despite all my efforts during the school year, there was no connection. She still haunts my being (in a good way).

"Do You Want To Know A Secret?"

I had a graduate assisantship in the Music Library and was considered a part of the staff of the main building. They had a "Secret Valentine's Week" among those who were interested. I drew the name of a 50-year old female member of the staff.

During the week prior to February 14, as an exercise in creativity. I did the following:
Monday--Sent her a homemade coupon good for a "Free Compliment" (with no expiration date and unlimited use).
Tuesday--Sent her a pencil with a eraser-sized teddy bear on the end. An attached note read, "Loving is the 'write' thing to do."
Wednesday--Sent her a handmade bookmark for all those romance novels she reads (which she actually did, as I came to discover).
Thursday--Sent her a handmade card. "Q. Want to find true love? A. See 1 Corinthians 13."
Friday--Sent her a can of tennis balls. The note attached read, "Let this be the only thing where love means nothing."
The party to reveal our identities was that Monday morning. I asked to go first. I walked into the room wearing my tux, drawing a few "oohs" from the rest of the women there. (Since this was concert dress for the performance at noon, I had an alibi.) She was pointed out to me, whereupon I sang to her "Let Me Call You Sweetheart". On the last line of the song, I knelt and presented her with a vase containing one red, one white, and one pink rose. For my efforts, I received a hug from her and a paperweight as a prize for being the most creative "Secret Valentine".

Imagine if I could do this for one woman.

But, then again, I believe everyday should be Valentine's Day.

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