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Valentine's Day fails (from an experienced husband)
The line between what is romantic and what will get a man arrested is a little too fine if you ask me. - photo by Davison Cheney
I have always tried to get a jump on things in my Valentine's Day preparation because if I don't plan ahead, people get hurt. It seems the better prepared I am, the fewer the medical costs.

No-vowel skywriting

Last year, I got such a late start that Valentines Day might have been a complete disaster if it wasn't for a last-minute cancellation my skywriter friend had. So, the only problem ended up being that I was a little cash poor and couldnt afford any vowels ...


Imagined halftime shows

The only other viable option I came up with was to hope the Green Bay cheerleaders, the Cheesettes, got my message in time to spell out my wifes name with giant cheese crackers during halftime of the Super Bowl. But the Packers lost, and the Cheesettes went back to their jobs in high finance. Big plans, no crackers, game over.

So you see, I had but days to pull off the ultimate in romantic demonstrations. Truth be told, I am not very good at figuring out the difference between a) what will be romantic and b) what will get me hospitalized or arrested.

Any sudden and noticeable development in wisdom or maturity aside, I am probably never going to be allowed back into LaVell Edwards Stadium. Suffice it to say that anything with a bungee and a grass skirt is out. No, I would rather not talk about it.

Elementary doily Valentine

When I was young, all I had to do was trace my profile onto a paper heart-shaped doily. Then I would wax quixotic and write something charming and repetitive on the back like, You are supper, supper! I'm not sure what I was going for, but it was clear to everyone, even at the tender age of 7, that I needed a hot meal and spell check. No longer can I get away with adorable and daft like I did in grade school.

Blood in the water

When I first started seeing someone romantically in college I bought a gallon of fabric dye to color the water at a university fountain a rosy red to show undying devotion to my girlfriend, who I had been dating for ... Well, I had said hi to her before our Andrew Lloyd Webber class ... twice.

On paper it was dramatic, daring and quirky. However, what looked like Hawaiian Punch spurting out of an aquatic clam shell may have been a little too "Old Testament" if you know what I mean. Hindsight being 20/20 I probably should have stuck with a balloon-o-gram instead of a failed plague on Egypt.

Diamond in the rough

Next case: I heard in a Disney movie a character being referred to as a "diamond in the rough." Such a sweet and childlike thought! What could possibly express my love more than to acknowledge my partner's untapped, undiscovered potential. I was determined to demonstrate to her that I, if no one else, knew her real value. I did this by presenting her with a hunk of coal and an old brass lamp.

Coupon catastrophe

Ever heard of creating charming coupons for the object-of-ones-affection to cash in later? I thought it was a great idea, too. So, I made cards out of bright construction paper for a touch of whimsy. I combined it with a promotion from a local business for a gift of self-improvement that couldnt go wrongcolorful vouchers for a terrific deal on laser hair removal!

At least I wrapped it.

Pink house for a pink day

My greatest debacle was what my wife refers to as "the time of deep shadow." That was the February I painted the front of our house a lovely unexpected color. The shade was called Begonia."

My thought process was that I would shock my wife for a day by fooling her into thinking I was serious, then paint over it the next day. However, the weather turned from tepid to cold to an Arctic nightmare, at which point my employer sent me to Albuquerque. The front of our house stayed flaming pink for 2 and a half months.

The neighbors paid Google Maps to blur out the entire block and had traffic cones set out to divert traffic. My mother-in-law suggested we run with it and hang a velvet painting of Elvis on the garage door and put a couch on the lawn.

Out-of-this-world love

Now, there are only a few days left before 2016 Valentine's Day, and I am fresh out of ideas. How will my wife know I love her without a hazardous and Herculean stunt? I thought to make a scale replica of Devils Tower with my mother-in-law's fudge recipe and spackle. I could then attach blinking Christmas lights like an incoming alien space ship, we could all hum the theme song from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and I could say something like, "Our love is out of this world."

Keep it simple, Stupid

My wife says to forget outer space. She says if I really love her, I will show her how much I care by staying out of the hospital and by being sweet to her ... quietly.

I guess I could try a rose and a poem. It would give me another year to heal. What rhymes with ILVY?
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