I’ve sort of lost track. I think I can be forgiven for not being sure exactly how many, but Lori and I have been through at least 34 Valentine’s days together. Wow! That means if I had a nickel for every time I wished I had given her more for Valentine’s Day I would have (time out for complex calculation) $1.70, give or take a nickel. But how do you put a price on being in love with your best friend for that many years. The answer of course is that you can’t. By the same token, how do you put it into words? Over time it’s only gotten harder. That doesn’t mean I won’t give it a shot, so here’s my valentine, Lori Ann.

V is for Value. As I said previously, a relationship that is stronger than all the stuff two people together for this long inevitably go through is truly something you can’t put a price on. In the end, if you don’t have any possessions and your bank account is down to zero balance, the relationships you have are of more value than your net worth at your most wealthy state.

A is for Attraction. The reasons for being attracted to my wife have grown more numerous over the years. I’ve frightened myself in the mirror enough times first thing in the morning to hope she feels the same way. In the beginning of a relationship it’s easy to find the energy to do the extra things to maintain attraction for your special someone. It may take more imagination over time but should never feel like work.

L is for Levitate. Have you ever flown in your dreams? I’ve got to say, it feels so real. When I wake up it seems for a moment as though I could simply hop up and take off, but no, darn gravity. But even when the reality of the stuff we all go through in the real world threatens to hold us down, it can be so wonderful to have someone to give you a boost.

E is for Extra. My Mom once told me that she and Dad had this bedtime ritual, whoever got to the bathroom first before bed put the toothpaste on the other’s toothbrush. You walk into the bathroom to brush your teeth and that’s one less chore you have to do. So, we’ve done that for as long as I can remember. That’s a little thing. It’s an extra thing. It’s just one of the countless things you do for someone you care for to make their day a little better.

N is for Next. I read somewhere that love wasn’t gazing into each other’s eyes but looking forward in the same direction together. That’s part of the excitement of growing and planning together. Sometimes it’s just the excitement of finding out what’s around the next bend at the same time.

T is for Touch. Just in general I don’t think people touch enough. We have so many ways to interact that don’t actually involve being within the physical proximity of another human being that we lose that familiarity, that comfort, of sharing our love and friendship with each other. Sometimes the things couples do when they are first dating, like holding hands, sort of fall by the wayside. Remembering to touch each other can be cheap relationship insurance. Also, it’s hard to be angry with someone you are giving intentional affection with a gentle touch.

I is for inspire. Inspiration doesn’t always come from earth shattering actions. Sometimes inspirational people do their magic in lots of small ways. Over the course of a lifetime you might suddenly realize the person you are most inspired by is the person who managed to say just the right thing or give you just the right amount of encouragement when you most needed it. If that person just happens to be your valentine then you are truly blessed.

N #2 is for New. Finding ways to keep your affection for each other fresh is not always easy but the desire to keep love new is half the battle. If I have a good sense of humor, Lori is largely responsible. Not only is she funny, she makes me think I am.

E #2 is for Entranced. When I think of being entranced I think of the kind of entrancement the best magicians utilize. You’re not sure just how they do what they do; you just know you are amazed at the outcome. I’m happy to still be under my wife’s spell and look forward to another lifetime of magic.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Lori Ann.