Friday, February 18, 2011

Valentine's (Week) Day

For someone who spends seemingly half of his day at the workplace and half of what’s left of the waking hours glued to his laptop, this is a special time of the year.

With my wife and me in our third decade together, it is incredibly important that we spend some quality time together, and so Valentine’s Day was a good opportunity to get away. We didn’t do too much, just lunch, a movie and some shopping, but we did it together…without the boys. It was a good time and reminded us of why we were drawn together in the first place. If you and yours are not taking extra time every once in a while, you should really think about addressing this.

We started our day at one of the local Mexican Restaurants in town. We then headed up to Fresno, Ca. which is a half an hour away, but has everything, including several Movie Theaters. As much as I wanted to see the film, The King’s Speech once again, we decided to see something new. It isn’t very often that we can get away to the movies so that was the better idea. We ended up seeing The Company Men. It had a good cast: Affleck, Costner, Chris Cooper, Craig T. Nelson and Tommy Lee Jones. It was directed by John Wells who directed episodes of The West Wing and ER. The film tells the story of people getting laid-off of work due to the poor economy, both regular as well as high-end executives, and how they must deal with the devastating changes that it brings to their lives, and the lives of their families.

The film was very good, but reminded me that we are very powerless when it comes to our jobs, and we could lose them at any moment, especially in a poor economy. We headed over to Costco after that, however, since the film had crawled into my head, I found myself unwilling to make any unnecessary purchases. Isn’t that funny?

I didn’t buy anything for my wife this particular time. We’re gearing up for a rather large trip to New York City next month, chaperoning my eldest son’s high school Wind Ensemble group that is playing Carnegie Hall and Central Park, so we both just agreed to spend some time together, rather than money. My wife isn’t a big flower person, and my allergies can’t stand it, so that was out of the question.

In spite of what you may think (considering I’m supposed to be a horror guy), I am a bit of a romantic. I’m the one who wants to watch Notting Hill and Love Actually and who gets misty at all of the right places. After all, when I have been asked what my favorite novel is, it isn’t Barker or King or Koontz I mention, but "Beach Music" by Pat Conroy. I also love to hide things and surprise my wife when the opportunity presents itself. I hope you crave those little moments, too, be it giving or receiving.

Now, how did you happen to spend your day? Is it a big deal at your house or is it subtle? Do you prefer the large outing or the quiet time at home? In any event, I hope it was a good day.

P.S.: I began this post with a photo from our wedding, so I'll end it with something a little more current. It is a shot from a couple of years ago from our stay at Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii.


  1. Nice, James. Great idea. We did a similar thing, watching our pennies as well. No extra dinners or flowers or gifts, just spent the evening together and had a long leisurely breakfast the next morning.
    You guys make a handsome couple. I kind of miss those days of plays and coffee house gigs, soccer and volleyball tournaments sometimes. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  2. Congratulations on reaching a third decade you guys! I'm on my second attempt at getting to decade two! We don't actually celebrate Valentine's... so I'm real glad I didn't have to post this week. But I am with you in making time for dinner... a drink... or a movie!

    Oh, and thanks for the recommendation on Company Men - I reckon I'll look out for that one.

  3. Congratulations on the third decade, James.

    Headcase that I am, I haven't even made it to the altar or Justice of the Peace. Haven't found anyone who can put up with me.

    But, if and when I do, I know who to check for romantic hints.

    Thanks for the cool blog.

  4. Hi, Sharon. Thanks for the note.
    We've got the oldest in honor band, honor choir, State Jazz Choir (tonight), and is in his third play. He did "Little Women", "Guys & Dolls" and now his first lead: "The Wizard of Oz". He's the Scarecrow. My youngest is the baseball player and had all-stars last year. Thankfully the new season hasn't yet begun. We sometimes complain, as busy as it can get, but will miss it when it's all over, right?
    Have a great long weekend,

  5. David, I was actually a bit stumped with regard to what to post this week. One who is glued to laptops and iPhones, and attempting to keep up with several blog posts and magazine articles, on top of the 11 hours I work during the week, should be lucky he has a wife at home who is willing to put up with that!! Thankfully, I do! In the end, I realized that I would refrain from giving advice and just simply share a bit.
    Take care, my friend.

  6. Yes, James, you will. But now I have the grandkids so it starts all over again (well, as soon as they can walk). It will be 40 years this June, and have the scars to prove it! That picture is from our honeymoon in 1971, in Spain, just after we got robbed by a band of gypsies...and we were nekked as they our sleeping bags!

    I still don't know how he's managed to put up with me all this time.

  7. Ha! Thanks for the note, Greg. I'll start jotting down notes right now in anticipation. In fact, I will begin stretching out my tolerence for adult beverages this very weekend, in hopes of being invited to the bachelor party to proceed said event. David, George, are you guys listening?
    Now for the lucky bride...