Between and among all the chocolate, roses, mushy poetry and crinkly paper lining pink boxes whose contents often make their recipients blush, it's easy to lose sight of Valentine's Day, today.
But I haven't, at least not yet and I've celebrated thirty-six of them, consecutively as a married man and have gotten each one.
At some point today, because I can and the people I work with will just slowly shake their heads as the stuff on their walls bounces and the knick-knacks dance on desks from the bass vibration and a volume that would have to be turned down to be close to 11, I will play what for decades was my favorite Valentine's Day song because it captured my abject and unlovable shlubness perfectly.
The sentiment expressed rings so true it still makes me blink back tears and I love the barrel house piano that signals the verses.
After I arrive home, however, sitting in the car in the dark of the garage I'll play on the car stereo the companion piece, from what is my favorite grown-up Bruce Springsteen album whose release in the fall of 1987 followed by only a few months the birth of our daughter Michelle, whose arrival completed our family.
This one always requires me to sit in the garage for more than a moment after it's over, unless I can cook up a great excuse for wearing my aviator shades in the house. I'm never able to come up with one but maybe this time around.
Being a full-time smart aleck is a hard job but I do it well; just ask me. But at least once a year, I'm allowed to drop the mask and remove the body armor to enjoy a moment with the only woman who could ever have me.
Despite my deserved reputation for being jaded and faded, maybe I'm amazed at the way you love me all the time. And am I greedy to hope it stays that way as you grow old along with me?