My Fuddy Valentine

FuddyThe perfect Valentines date: a romantic evening at a quaint Italian restaurant, a red rose on the table next to a gourmet entreé while in the background Ol’ Blue Eyes croons a classic, “My fuddy valentine, sweet comic valentine. You make me smile with my heart.”

What?

Did spell check miss something?

Nope.

“Fuddy” valentine is what I heard that night and “fuddy” valentine is a more accurate lyric for this particular Valentines Day.

I really was trying to keep my holiday expectations in check this time.

You know me.

I get all excited about some fanciful vision then go to pieces when it spirals into normalcy. This time I was determined to be sensible. Besides, my husband and I were both under the weather putting a damper on things anyway.

The unseasonably warm climate didn’t deter a vicious strain of winter flu from ransacking our household. The kids were finally over it and I had some nagging symptoms lingering, but the demon virus had commandeered most of my sweetie’s vital organs just in time for the holiday weekend.

It’s okay, I told myself. That chick in the movie Warm Bodies found romance with a zombie and so could I!

Try as I might to stay grounded, Friday afternoon I made a fatal mistake. I went into town to run errands and got shot in the pockets by cupid’s commercial arrow. We needed dog food, milk and NyQuil and I was determined to hurry in and grab these practical items and get out unscathed, but I’m a sucker for festive trappings. The store was slammed with V-Day paraphernalia! Roses, balloons, candy, cards and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!

The bag of cinnamon lips was open before I even got to the car.

I also bought stuff to make chocolate-covered strawberries, valentine sugar cookies and heart-shaped cinnamon rolls.

Yep, I was in trouble.

That night, I blasted Michael Bublé and baked in anticipation of the sweet holiday celebration I had planned for the next day while the zombie tried to regenerate in bed. Some congestion had accumulated in my head by the time I went to bed, but I ignored it. Apparently it resented being ignored because by morning it completely plugged my ear for attention. Actually it was only half plugged, just enough to allow sound inside to ricochet off my brain in a constant echo.

I treated my ailment with medicinal doses of chocolate-covered strawberries, valentine sugar cookies and heart-shaped cinnamon rolls administered in bed, but unfortunately my homecookin’opathy didn’t work. It didn’t reverse the zombie apocalypse either, since even tasty treats made with love couldn’t restore R’s lost sense of taste or smell. We decided to make the most of the holiday with a nap.

We kept our dinner reservation though, sitting at a quiet table for two eating pasta and pretending enthusiasm. I couldn’t really hear and R couldn’t really talk between coughing bouts. Sinatra’s “Fuddy Valentine” rattling around in my head seemed like an intentional taunt—until I thought about it.

Fast-forward forty years when hopefully we’re really a fuddy old couple of sweethearts missing a few senses between us, but still in love—even if we can’t say it or hear it.

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