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Friday, September 19, 2014, 9:13 a.m.
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No more Valentine’s Day cards

By Tammy Keith

This article was published February 9, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

I looked at the calendar and realized Friday is Valentine’s Day.

Not that I need to panic. My husband and I are low-key on this day.

No card. No flowers. No chocolate. (OK, maybe a little chocolate.) No dinner at a fancy restaurant, unless it’s the Keith Kitchen, cooked by my husband.

I think I have established in this column that I am not romantic. I’m a little too matter-of-fact realist for that.

I know others feel differently, though.

When we were talking about Valentine’s Day, a newly engaged woman I work with (I fought the urge to type “girl”) said, “I don’t care, as long as I get a card.”

She may change her mind after 26 years of cards.

Normally, I am a card person. I love finding the perfect card for someone. I already have my mom’s birthday card for March.

But my husband and I decided that was a waste of money on holidays for each other. Half the time, I couldn’t remember if I’d given the same card last year.

The themes were basically the same: two cartoon cats, talking about the fact that we might occasionally have a spat, but we still love each other and it’s not old hat, etc. Something like that for a funny card.

Or, a monkey card. I firmly believe you cannot go wrong with a monkey card for any occasion. (Even sympathy cards, and I feel this is a weakness in the Hallmark line. Monkeys care, too.)

Then my husband and I would buy each other a sweet card.

If you think about it, it’s sort of weird for two writers to communicate by buying cards that someone else wrote.

My husband has written me poems in the past. Three years ago, when I was going to be gone on a trip with my parents during Valentine’s Day, he wrote me a three-page, single-spaced poem about trying to decide what to get me. As he put it:

“I have to come up with something to give as gift because I don’t want this holiday to result in a rift. It’s not that I think you will consider me a slouch, but I don’t want to risk having to sleep on the couch.”

That’s a different kind of writing, and it’s not my strength. Poetry writing is not a required course for reporters.

(In the end, I got a gift certificate for a massage, which is always appreciated.)

Last year on Valentine’s Day, my husband’s college students asked if he’d bought me anything yet. When he said no, they were aghast.

He said I wanted to go see the latest Die Hard movie, which I did, and we did. (I told you, not romantic.)

I still love a good chick flick. This year, I might want him to take me to see a movie called Labor Day, with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.

Or, we could stay home and watch The Notebook.

That would be giving me a card, he said — he’d have to hand over his man card.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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