Harrison walked into the office whistling. He stopped at his partner’s desk. “Hey, Gary. How’s it going?”
“Fine, I guess,” was the reply. Gary looked up from the spread sheet he was working on. “What got you in such a good mood?”
“I just scored tickets to that new play at the Grand. Jen is going to love it. That’s all she’s talked about for weeks. And I got a reservation for dinner afterwards.”
“Wow! What’s the occasion?” Gary asked.
“You mean you don’t know? Gary, it is Valentine’s Day.”
“Oh, I forgot. I wonder what I should do.”
Harrison clapped him on the back. “What did you do last year?”
“Nothing. I forgot then too.”
“Did Candice call you on it?” Harrison asked. His eyes were wide with curiosity.
“Nope. She handed me a card and blew out the candles on the table. Of course she didn’t speak to me for a couple of days.”
“How about her birthday? You had to have done something nice on her birthday.”
“No. I forgot until the last minute. All I could find on the way was a tee shirt with a kitten on it.”
Gary shook his head. “I forgot she hates cats.”
Harrison snorted and turned his head to laugh. “Jewelry for Christmas?”
“I got her a gift certificate to a lingerie store. They had some pretty enticing stuff. But I can never remember her size.”
“Something you’d like to see her in?” Harrison asked.
“Yes, as a matter of fact,” Gary answered. “That doesn’t help for tonight.”
“How long have you two been married?” Harrison asked. “I’m just curious.”
“Ten years I think. I lost track.”
“So you don’t do anniversaries either I take it.”
“She understands. I’ve been working hard to get the business going.”
“Gary, we have been in business for years. We are doing really well. What is your problem?”
“I just haven’t thought about it.”
“Well maybe you should. Your marriage is just as important as this place. I’ve noticed you work late a lot. Do you even make it home to dinner?”
“A couple times. Usually she leaves me a plate to microwave.”
“I think you had better go get some flowers, a really big bouquet with roses, a bottle of wine, and maybe a take-out order from her favorite restaurant, if you even know what that is, and get home as soon as possible. I know her and she is a lovely and patient woman, but she is not going to sit around waiting on you to show how much you love her for much longer.” Harrison dragged Gary’s chair out from under the desk. “Now!”
Gary gave him a dirty look but got up and grabbed his jacket. He left the office and did what his friend suggested and headed home.
The lights were out when Gary got home. He glanced at his watch. “Kind of early for that.” He mumbled. He carefully carried the flowers and take-out to the house and opened the door. After he set it all on the table and looked around he noticed how quiet the house was. He went into the kitchen to get some plates and wine glasses. He found the envelope with his name on it attached to the refrigerator with a magnet.
“Gary, since you love your business more than me, I will leave you to it. I’m sure someone out there will appreciate me for what I can bring to the table and not forget all the little things that make a relationship work. Someone who will love me as much as I do him. Good luck with everything. P.S. Divorce papers are on the pillow. I’m sure you will find I have been more than reasonable. Just sign them and send them to the attorney’s office in the envelope. Goodbye, Candice.
Gary sat at the counter dividing the kitchen and dining room staring at the note. No ‘Love, Candice. No, “Sincerely, Candice. No X or O, Candice. Just ‘Goodbye”. Harrison was right. She wouldn’t put up with him for long. With tears on his face, he signed the papers.
It doesn't have to be extravagant or expensive. Just don't forget to show your love on the special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries, and yes, Valentine's Day. Love and marriage takes care and nurturing, otherwise known as work. It won't take care of itself. Your significant other is significant for a reason. They are a priority, not an afterthought, not the bottom of the dreaded chore list. Make sure they know, don't assume they know, how you feel about them.
A card, a homemade gift certificate with a promise to do something special together (and mean it), or if you have the money, a special gift or meal (in or out) can mean a lot. Tell them often and show them often. Amen!