You can’t believe everything you read — especially when it comes to this column. However, you might believe, for the most part, when it comes to this column about Valentine’s Day.
For a short month, February has more than its share of holidays — Groundhog Day (a semi-holiday), Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day.
When I was in elementary school, we even had Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12 and Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22. I think Washington was still in office then.
As part of the extensive research that goes into this, I discovered that officially Presidents Day is still Washington’s birthday although it’s now a Monday holiday and can never be celebrated on Feb. 22.
I might be bitter, but I think that Lincoln still deserves a birthday holiday. He was even more honest than Washington was truthful.
Anyway, since last week’s column was about Groundhog Day, I am going to devote the rest of this to Valentine’s Day.
The reason you can’t believe everything you read, watch or hear about the romantic gestures that are part of the day is that, for the most part, they just aren’t completely true for most guys.
Guys who are still under the impression that Super Bowl Sunday is yet another February holiday are not likely to be big on romance.
If you read novels or watch a film on the Hallmark Channel, you’re like to find the main male character writing beautiful love letters to his valentine.
I think this rarely happened in the days when people actually wrote letters. These days, Santa is about the only one in the world who gets letters and even those are lists of Christmas toy wishes.
It is possible that a guy today might send a love text — “i luv u” — but I doubt it. It would probably take too much effort.
If texting a brief message of affection would be too much effort for many guys, writing their beloved a love poem would be about as likely to happen as me being named most valuable player in the Super Bowl.
I don’t want to make it seem like I’m being too hard on my fellow men. Love poetry does not come easily to guys not named Shakespeare or Percy Bysshe Shelley.
When I mentioned this observation to my old friend Professor Van Von Venn, he said he wasn’t sure why Shakespeare was so good at love poetry but his theory was the other guy was named Shelley.
For the rest of us, we are in trouble when it comes to writing love poetry. I think one of the problems is that “beer” rhymes with “dear” and that gets a lot of us off-track. The would-be poets get sidetracked and wind up writing an ode to their favorite beverage.
If poetry is well beyond the reach of most guys, serenading the women we love is something we don’t even consider trying. Once I was going to serenade JoAnn for Valentine’s Day despite the fact that a grunting groundhog has a better voice than I do.
Fortunately, Von Venn talked me out of it when he heard that the love song I had picked was the “Beer Barrel Polka.”
Many of us do better when it comes to flowers. Of course, we don’t fill a room with expensive bouquets as they do in romance novels and movies.
About the best most of us can do is to buy a bunch of flowers from a grocery store. Some of the more romantic guys might throw in a couple of Slim Jim beef sticks with the flowers.
I don’t want to give the impression that we guys are totally unromantic.
In honor of the occasion, I will take my wife JoAnn out for a special dinner. You’d be surprised how economical Burger King is when you clip coupons from the newspaper.