I haven’t written anything here in quite some time. There’s not enough time in the day to get everything done and have the accompanying panic attacks. Today being what it is – Valentine’s Day – I thought I should at least attempt to write something thematic.
The painting to the right is of Trinity Valentine at age 18. Who is that? I have no idea. Her last name’s Valentine… that’s thematic enough. The painter is Fred Burkhart. The surrounding blues are so startlingly blue in comparison to the black outline of her face and the lighter tones of her hair and face. I don’t know… something about it captivated me. You can see more paintings by this artist at www.burkhartstudios.com.
As for Valentine’s Day proper, I am reminded of Valentine’s Day 2004. Heather and I had been married a whopping 18 days, and I was on a mission: to find the perfect kitty that Heather has been wanting for more than ten years. I was one of those Valentine’s Day haters. It was and still is my firm belief that a man who loves his wife finds special ways to show his love throughout the year, not just on some day that someone randomly chose as a day of romance. I personally resent it, though less now than I used to.
The point of it is to make men feel so guilty at the thought of not buying something for their wife or girlfriend that they end up feeling obligated to go spend money so that she won’t be the only woman at work or at church who didn’t get some token of how special she is to her man.
I so totally lucked out! The first place I stopped, PetSmart, had one little Siamese Snowshoe with piercing blue eyes. I was transfixed. Doubt crept in. What if Heather gets mad that I adopted a cat without even consulting with her? It was risky. It’s the kind of thing careless married couples fight about all the time.
I was going to drive around and think about it, when this couple walked up and started cooing over the same kitten. Panic. What if someone else chooses him while I’m still thinking? Can I take that chance? No. I cannot. He’s too beautiful. He’s too perfect. It’s him or nothing.
He was so tiny. So precious. He cried all the way home. I sang to him to calm him down. When we got home, my wife was taking a shower, probably getting ready for a possible Valentine’s Day dinner. I carried the kitty into the bedroom, opened the bathroom door just a crack, and gently nudged him on. I closed the door and listened carefully.
Five seconds later, I hear Heather gasp. I hear the shower door open and she says, “Where did you come from, kitty?” in the sweetest voice I’ve ever heard her use. The rest was history. She fell in love with our new cat, and he has been an irreplaceable member of the family ever since. Now, whenever a gift-giving holiday comes around, she always tells me, “Just give me Mr. Kitty again. Wrap a bow around him and give him to me as a present!”
I haven’t tried it yet. Somehow, I think the idea of it might be a little cuter than how it might play out for real. Still, Mr. Kitty earns me bonus points on every holiday when my wife remembers how wonderful it was to receive the perfect kitty on a day I had never previously celebrated.