Fulfilling Valentine’s Day just wasn’t in cards … again

Valentine’s Day is over. Whew. I am so thankful that once more I narrowly dodged a bullet. (Well, maybe in this case “avoided a poison arrow” would be a more fitting metaphor.) You see, just hours before the February day set aside for love began, my old nemesis The Procrastinator, along with his his evil sidekick Distractor, burst into my life girded and ready to do battle with my best intentions. Curse you, Procrastinator.

Please understand, I really was going to have a Valentine’s Day card ready to go earlier in the month. As a matter of fact, my original plan was to find some nice paper, create some original art for the cover and then compose a loving Valentine poem for the inside. I had even sketched some drawings in the margin of the newspaper while I was drinking morning coffee, and as I was sipping the steaming brew, I was rough-drafting in my head some possibilities for the direction of the poem. (“My love for you overflows like a Venti coffee poured into a grande cup…”) Well, hours turned into days and before I knew it Feb. 13 was upon me, and I had not yet started any of my creative Valentine plans.

I realized I would need a store-bought card, so I decided to check my stash. One time, long ago, I had the foresight to buy a number of cards for different occasions with the plan that I would never again be caught card-less. Throughout the years I had gone to that well many times, and often thought, “I should replenish my stock,” but I guess I put it off. Perhaps, though, there might still be one or two cards that would fit the occasion. Drat! Foiled again by the wily Procrastinator. Nothing was going to work, although I admit that just for a moment I considered modifying a “Sorry for your loss” as well as a “Feliz Navidad” card.

It was still morning, so I grabbed some coffee and figured to get to work after that. But then I started the crossword and midway through, decided to check the TV for the weather prediction and got involved with a silly story about how to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your pets, and as I was going back to the kitchen table, I remembered a song that I wanted to figure out — a Valentine’s love song, in my defense — so I grabbed my guitar and plunked around on it for a while.

By then my coffee was cold, so I warmed it up and while doing so noticed the dishes from the night before were still on the counter. I figured it would be a nice Valentine’s gesture, so I dealt with that mess and then realized the bird feeders were empty. Sydney the dog and I went outside to solve that problem. Not too long after I got back inside, Sydney whined at the front door. As I let him in I started developing these exaggerated, ridiculous mental pictures of what a dog might choose for itself as a Valentine’s present. I laughed to myself for a while.

But time was running short and I needed to leave before all the cards were gone. The drugstore’s card aisle was filled with men who, like me, were victims of the Procrastinator’s cruel humor. Most of the stock was gone, so I’ll never know if I missed that one perfectly expressed, heart-tugging, emotionally on-the-money Valentine’s card, but I did manage to snag one that sort of said what I kind of wanted to communicate. I stood in line with the rest of the card-buying late-comers and paid for my merchandise.

I headed home with my Valentine’s Day card but turned around halfway there. I suddenly realized I had forgotten to pay a bill that would be overdue in a couple of days. Curse you, Procrastinator!