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Saint Valentine stuck his neck out for love and was beheaded for it, according to one legend. Pursuit of romance on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, can lead to trouble and hard feelings. For that reason, some people retreat from participation rather than risk what goodwill remains with their significant others.
At the age of 75, I’ve successfully given and received Valentines for more than six decades with great satisfaction. Here are my romantic tactics:
Advance planning is the key to success. I’ve been with my spouse for more than 50 years. She knows me well. Still, with a little effort, I can pull off a covert activity — like hiding the roses, card and candy the day before. Presentation takes place on Valentine’s Day morning, along with her usual breakfast in our bed. She rightfully expects it, and I deliver with a royal flourish (I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I am obedient). I take her to dine with friends, too. A day of romantic activity has always paid off.
I am permitted to admire certain others. At my age, I guess they consider me to be harmless. My practice here is to be cheap in expressing my affection. Never exceed what serious friends and acquaintances might be delivering. Lollipops, wrapped candy and funny homemade cards are effective. They get my love message across. I value hugs and kisses and have always gotten my share.
The bottom line
Life is short, and the grave is lonely and dark. Every day we walk on top of the green grass is wonderful. Be grateful for Valentines.
John Heidtke is a retired FBI special agent living in Shallotte.