I had never really caught on to the meaning of St-Valentine's day until that particular day.
Back in 02 on St-Valentine's day, I was at the mechanic's getting my car fixed. We had a conversation about that evening and the fact that I hadn't bought anything for my wife yet. He said that he covered the evening at the restaurant and that his wife was good with that. I thought to myself "great idea". So without consulting my better half, I planed to pay for a good restaurant and that would be it. Problem solved.
My wife gets home from work and I mention that I'm taking her out to dinner. The youngest at the time were six and seven. We're both dressed and ready to go, patiently waiting on the oldest daughter of 15 to show up from school to baby-sit. She doesn't show up. By about 8:00 my wife decides to change inter her evening wear and calls it a night. She then pulls out a gift card and some chocolate that she bought for me, and awaits my gifts for her. I sheepishly mention I didn't buy her anything as I had a nice evening out planned for her. She was not too impressed at that one. Not much was said and I thought I had dodged the bullet. The evening was not over yet.
Just then the daughter walks in with her moose on a noose. I asked her where the hell she had been. She was at the mall with her boyfriend who had bought her a dozen roses, some chocolate and a new safire ring with about five diamonds around it.
I looked down at the ring and could feel the heat on the top of my head, coming from the wife's glare. I now knew I was in deep shit. What the hell was I thinking?
Why didn't I at least buy her a card? She raises her eyes and says "I'm going to my room". That's it. I'm done now. She's there to decide what punishment to give out and how long it's going to last. I turn to my daughter and ask her what took so long. She thought we were going out at around 9:00, so she took her sweet time coming home. Now she asks "why didn't you get her anything?"...
Having learnt a few things from past experience, I know better than to stay there and wait for punishment. I dodge out the door, into the car and head to the the nearest mall's gift shop. I run through the store and spot a nice little $10 teddy bear with a $25 price tag right on the paper heart. Good enough. I grab a card and pen while I'm there, bring it to the cash and wait my turn. The girl smiles and asks "last minute shopping?" I say "No! Last minute was four hours ago. This is damage control!". She smirks a little and hands me my change.
I rush home to find the wife in the living room wondering where the hell I had gone to. It took an hour of convincing and apologising before she accepted my gift. All in all, she has no choice but to forgive me. That's what wives are for.
She still has the teddy bear as a reminder of that day. And I now have a better understanding of St-Valentine's day. I guess it was a learning experience for me.