Finding the perfect Valentine’s Day card for someone you’ve been married to since the Beatles broke up can be a sincere challenge. While you certainly want to say something special, you also certainly want to say something authentic.
Gushy-mushy sentiments just don’t cut it after a certain age, not when, say, a low gas bill is what makes your heart go pitter-patter.
Last year, as you may recall, I came up with several lines of honest Valentine’s Day cards for older couples. While major greeting card manufacturers — and all the polyp-free teenyboppers running the shows there — clearly didn’t see the brilliance behind my concept, I have confidence that someday soon they will. One colonoscopy on the arm of someone you love is all it takes for enlightenment to occur.
Until then, I have augmented last year’s collection with three more apropos lines.
My first grouping — affectionately called the I Adore You Most line — zeroes in on what couples who have hung in there for the long haul have come to appreciate about each other.
From a wife to a husband — “I adore you most when…you brush my leg at night, encounter enough hair to excite an orangutan and still remain by my side,” “I adore you most when…I don’t have to explain why the shampoo is in the refrigerator” and “I adore you most when…you take a micro-moment to taste the gourmet meal I have slaved over before smothering it with hot sauce.”
From a husband to a wife — “I adore you most when…your nudges to stop my snoring don’t feel like piercing jabs with a pickaxe,” “I adore you most when…you understand my need for lawn equipment that has more horsepower than a Boeing 777” and “I adore you most when…you pretend to believe me when I say the dog has indigestion, not me.”
My second grouping — tenderly called the You’re Not Perfect line — revolves around once-irritating habits that have lovingly morphed into habits that are both tolerated and somehow understood.
From a wife to a husband — “You’re not perfect…but I’ve come to admire how you can drive on an empty gas tank on a deserted highway in dueling-banjo country without breaking a sweat,” “You’re not perfect…but I’m beginning to see why eating leftovers straight from the carton with your fingers makes life easier” and “You’re not perfect…but I now get why sneezing louder than a sonic boom has been a good thing for our sleepy family.“
From a husband to a wife — “You’re not perfect…but I’ve come to admire how deftly you use the rearview mirror to apply makeup while driving behind a semi in a blizzard,” “You’re not perfect…but I now understand why carrying a purse laden with more stuff than a U-Haul can actually be useful” and “You’re not perfect…but I’m beginning to respect how you wait until I leave the house before you crank up the heat to ozone-blasting levels.”
My final No One But You line addresses endearing idiosyncrasies that never fail to bring on a timeworn smile.
From either — “No one but you…can wipe their nose with the sleeve of their sweater with more aplomb than Emily Post,” “No one but you… can tell a story over and over and over and — OMG more ‘overs’ than this little card can handle — with such zeal it always sounds fresh” and “No one but you…can look oddly attractive in sagged-out sweats with hardened salsa running down the front.”
Hallmark? American Greetings? I’m waiting. Not to get too personal, but aren’t a few of you about due for a colonoscopy?
Anne Palumbo writes this column for Messenger Post newspapers. Her email is