I have never considered that celebrating Valentine's Day should be a one-way street. I learned a lesson this year, however.
I can no longer drive, due to limited vision. So I arranged with my amanuensis for her to do some shopping for me. Barbara loves Dark Chocolate, especially Nuts and Chews. Rather than the See's Candy, of which Barbara is now rather tired, I asked my shopper to find a box of Godiva chocolates, together with a nice card without a pre-printed message, other than something simple like "Happy Valentine's Day". I added some loving words to the card, and safely stashed away both card and chocolates.
I'm normally first up in the morning, making coffee and preparing breakfast. So on Feb. 14, I was able to set the table in the dining room, and place the card and the candy. in front of Barbara's chair, before she came down to join me.
All worked perfectly. Barbara was delighted! I didn't necessarily expect her to reciprocate--we've been married for over 40 years--but I was grateful for her offer to me of three chocolates--as long as I didn't touch the only three dark chocolates. (She needn't have worried: she had eaten them all that morning, before I indulged in one milk chocolate after lunch.)
I now accept the reality that Valentine's Day is more a day for men to express their love for women than vice-versa. I enjoyed the loving words, the hugs, and the kisses that acknowledged my efforts.. However, I must admit that I had a few nostalgic pangs of regret that nary a card nor a simple bar of chocolate came my way that day.
Here let me admit that I do have some bad habits, so I am used to hearing "Sit up straight", "Don't slurp", "Keep your elbows off the .table", and similar words of wifely advice. So as we were packing to take a train the next morning, i was pleasantly surprised after breakfast to find a note on my bed, reading "Don't Change!". I felt that my efforts, however unsuccessful, to kick those bad habits, were truly appreciated. A rush of loving happiness came over me.
When Barbara came into the room a little later, I expressed my appreciation for her affectionate words. To my surprise, she laughed, and promptly burst my bubble. She said "That note is for the house cleaners, when they come next Monday. Since you had clean sheets only yesterday, I am telling them not too change your linen this week..."