Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Rob and I observed our thirty-second Valentine's Day yesterday. Which made me think about how careful we should be about setting precedents.
On our first Valentine's Day in 1980, Rob gave me a teddy bear, for a variety of slushy sentimental reasons that will remain forever locked in our secret past. This was such a hit that he started giving me a stuffed animal every Valentine's Day, every year striving to find something new and different.
I now have thirty-one stuffed animals. (One, a bear named Fred, was sacrificed to a lonely new puppy, who grew old and went to meet his fathers a decade ago at least.) Number thirty-one is a walrus whose name has turned out to be Tuskany. "It's getting harder and harder to find new ones," Rob groused. And it's true...I have two moose, a mallard duck, a pig, a cow, and, last year, a porcupine. They all live together on a couch in our bedroom,which now serves no other function except when I toss my clothes on top of the animals, which I often do.
If this goes on, by the time we shuffle off the coil we'll have more stuffed animals than the toy store. Certainly we'll have more stuffed animals than brains. Poor Rob will be reduced to giving me a stuffed slug and/or mollusk.
And yet, we can't stop. I think we both feel that things have been going along just fine for the past three decades, and we fiddle with tradition at our peril.
I do keep trying to shake things up. At Christmas, I threatened to carry him off to Mexico to visit our friend Larry, but in the end I, too, gave in to the promise of snow and Merry Gentlemen and having the neighbors in for turkey.
Next year, maybe we'll make it to Mexico. But I suspect, twenty years from now, we'll be trying to find a spot for that fifty-second stuffed animal.