Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentine For A Middle-Aged Spouse - one day late

Sheila McInnes

It's not that I am totally opposed to the idea of Valentine's Day with its pretty pink roses, pink champagne, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, a cosy overpriced dinner in a dimly lit restaurant with schmaltzy music in the background; it's not that I can't appreciate the hype of overpriced, gimmicky tat we are implored to buy for this occasion; no, this is all very good for the economy. 

It's just not  for me, if it's all the same, thank you.

What I remember on this day is a very good, kind and loving man, who took me on when I was seriously ill, although I gave him every chance to duck out of the commitment. He took me on, although he knew that I might never get better, become an invalid for whatever time I had left, useless and a burden. He took me on and looked after me, bullied me, pampered me, encouraged me, dried my tears,
stopped me wallowing in self-pity and made me laugh, held my hand and held me upright.

And when the miracle happened and modern medicine and his love took the demon away from me,
he stuck to and put up with a cantankerous, selfish, ungrateful, very faulty human being.

This poem is for you, Beloved. Thanks for everything.

Dear Love, since we might both be dead by now
through war, disease, hijack or accident
at least for one day let's not speak of how
much we have bickered, botched and badly spent.
Wouldn't it make much more sense to collude
in an affectionate work of camouflage,
turning our eyes away from all we've skewed,
to the small gains of household bricolage?
As our teeth loosen and our faces crag
(I shall grow skinnier as you grow paunched,
a Laurel to your Hardy, not much brag),
I'll think of all our love most sweetly launched
if you will look with favour on these lines
we may still live as tender valentines.

Elaine Feinstein
b. October 1930

PS: this post is a day late because we have just had a 24 hour power 'outage'.
I shall come visiting everybody as soon as I can.


  1. You have just written a wonderful descriptions of love received from your special Valentine. Thank you for sharing such Valentine wisdom!

  2. Love is so much more than schmaltzy music, flowers and cards written by someone else. True love is expressed in the poem you've quoted, the story of your own love, and the sweet couple having dinner together as they have done thousands of days before.

  3. That was lovely. You and your Beloved are lucky to have one another.

  4. right on time this side of the pond.

  5. Straight from the heart, Friko. Unconditional love, is the only way to go.

  6. That's a great Valentine poem. A lot better than some I've read in Clinton's Cards, put it that way ... [sticks fingers down throat]

  7. Ah, love.
    Real good ol' love is so much better than Valentine-y romanticky love.
    Real love is more True Devotion than I ever thought when I was young and in love with Love.

  8. Real love is when you stay during the bad times and celebrate the good times together. Real love is when you share tears and laughter. Real love is when the physical appearance of your aging bodies doesn't matter and you can see the goodness and beauty of the inner being. Real love is being best friends.

    The poem said it well.

  9. Such a beautiful poem, and the tribute to your Beloved is, I think, perfect. It is still Valentine's Day here.
    My dear husband will partake in a homemade, sugar-free tiramisu this evening. The children may not like it, but I made it for him!

  10. Here's to bricolage, paunch and bragging, botching and bickering. This is the best Valentine yet.

  11. Truly heartfelt for just the right reasons... no hype, no bickering... just love at its best. Smiles.

  12. Yes, I'll be printing that one out!
    Over here we're just glad that our two hearts are pumping as they should. We celebrated by going to the clinic for lab work and then out to tea - the first outing since January 20th. That's celebration enough.

  13. The reality of love comes in all forms. Ours, today, was in tending to each others needs. I needed a simple thanks for the great meal. I got it. He needed his burn bandages changed. He got it and said thank you again. Love is real.
    BlessYourHearts Loved this heartfelt entry.

  14. Wonderful, Friko. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  15. and that i believe is true love...glad you survived the power outage...

  16. What a fine poem. A real life poem, not like the usual Hallmark schmaltz. And, as for your personal remembrance, well, here's to survival, eh?

  17. Now that's a REAL Valentine poem, if you ask me. I LOVE it! And I do so appreciate you sharing it with me.

  18. What a glorious tribute to a wonderful man! You are blessed and so is he!!!!!

  19. Perfect! Hugs and hearty handshakes to both of you. That's my kind of Valentine poem!

  20. Aw shucks maw! Sounds like a lovely story of real love.....

  21. ah, Frikos posts sind doch immer besonders! Ausser-gewöhnlich, ehrlich und berührend...
    Ja, so ehrlich....
    Bin sprachlos!


  22. You and Beloved are both lucky. Happy Late Valentine's Day to you, Friend.

  23. What a wonderful post, Friko. Your very moving intro really drove the sonnet into me. As a matter of fact, I thought the poem was yours at first, as I had scrolled down to the entire poem but not yet the byline. If Valentine's Day is to ever mean anything real it will only be by speaking to some of the experiences and raw and nuanced and tender emotions you describe here.

  24. The truest of all true love, the caring, sharing, burden-bearing kind mixed with humour and stoicism.

  25. hmmm

    yes - valentines day is a big corporate thing, but it never hurts show your other half how much you care - like the pome

  26. Now,Friko, that just puts everything into perspective.

  27. Gosh, your sentiments are bang on,
    for the commercializing of Love has
    always irritated me, though I bend to
    the will of Hallmark and my peers.
    I like your head-on approach to
    this manufactured day, and yes,
    Elaine's poem creates a pinch of
    wondrous affection in the midst
    of overkill consumption; yet
    the commenters gush with glee
    over your mantled affection and
    the reality of your relationship
    with your Beloved, which seemed
    at first counter indicated by your
    rant, and then gosh, I just found
    myself gushing too as I thought of
    my spouse and our 18th anniversary
    arriving in April.

  28. Beautiful Friko. I copied it and sent it to my Valentine. Hope you don't mind. Dianne

  29. Friko, that was beautiful. I feel the same way about my husband after being together for such a long time. Aren't we lucky to be alive and together? The primitive painting was lovely, too. Hope they're drinkig champagne? Love, me ♥

  30. I'm holding out for a man like that. That's true love. Anybody can buy flowers. You've got the real thing.

  31. I agree with you...what a beautiful tale of love...the real happy you found the real thing. Lovely poem.

  32. ... das nennt man die grosse, wahre Liebe!

  33. Oh my, Friko, that was truly touching.

  34. Beautiful words and a belated Happy Valentine's Day greeting.

  35. Zum Glück gibt es hier keine Hallmark-Karten, und Valentine wird auch nicht weiter beachtet. Ich habe mal gelesen, dass 17 % der amerikanischen Männer ihren AUTOS ein Valentine-Geschenk geben! Beängstigend, oder?
    Ein sehr schönes Gedicht, und auch das Bild hat mir gefallen. Danke für Deinen Besuch bei mir. Ja, ich glaube, Du hast beides reichlich - Mut und auch Übermut!

  36. It is silly isn't it? To pick one day off the calendar to make a big deal out of something that is supposed to be going on 24/7. Your Beloved understands what it's all about. I'm glad that you have him in your life.

  37. ...Here's to both of you!

    And thanks for your kind words.

  38. Hmm. A cantankerous romantic you are! Just loved it.

  39. That was a perfect poem to go with your prose. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.


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