Some readers may remember my valentine’s day post from last year and this year I’m gonna go all the way to the opposite end of the spectrum. For some this story may seem a bit mean spirited but I assure you that the names have been changed to protect the “innocent”?, the statute of limitations has expired and, well… sometimes a lovely nugget of a story just drops in one’s lap and I’m alert enough to know one when I see one. In my previous life and job, I found myself in management (hard to believe I know). I had project managers that reported to me along with almost everyone else at one time or another. One such project manager… let’s call him Roscoe, was a real go-getter or so he thought, always scheming, making bad decisions and not knowing when to zip it. So, we had a big job going and Roscoe’s team had to work late one night and it just so happened that it was Valentine’s day. As I was leaving that day, I stopped him in the hallway to get an update and see how things were proceeding. He was clearly not his perky self so I asked, “Roscoe, what’s going on?, everything OK?” He said everything was fine but didn’t really sell it well so I persisted… “You sure you’re OK dude?”. He nodded yes but then added, “well, it’s Valentine’s day and I, I,…”. I interrupted him at this point and said, “Roscoe, it’s 6 pm on Valentine’s day and you haven’t gotten your girlfriend anything yet?”. He said yes. I said, “well, you better stop on the way home and get some flowers or chocolate and a card”. Then he proceeded to tell me something that made it clear that the problem was a bit deeper than that. You see, Roscoe had some kids and was getting a divorce and he had gotten together with this “girlfriend” who also had kids and they were living together and she was essentially taking care of his kids for him. Roscoe continues, “well, I’m thinking of writing a poem”. I replied, “you write poetry?”. He said no. I said, “dude, get some flowers and a card”. Now, here’s the kicker… he says, “I can’t get flowers or a card or candy”. I asked why not and he said, “I don’t want her to think that I like her.” Before I could say anything he kept on… “you see, I want to move out because I don’t really like her but I need her to watch my kids for a couple more weeks so that I can save enough money to move out”. “I have to give her something but I don’t want her to get the wrong impression”. I figured I’d just leave it alone. The next morning I ran into Roscoe early on and he looked really down. I said, “dude, you didn’t do the poem thing, did you?”. He nodded. I asked, “well, what happened?”. “She threw it in my face and slapped me”. I probed further… “well, how did you present it to her?, did you write it with pen and ink on a nice piece of paper?” (in my mind I was picturing calligraphy pens with swirly flourishes which was absurd for me to think). He matter of fact-ly reached into his back pocket and pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to me saying, “Here it is, I just gave it to her”. The paper was a ruled white piece of paper torn out of a medium sized spiral notebook that was haphazardly folded in half. I asked, “you gave it to her just like this?”. He shrugged and said that he had. I unfolded the paper and started reading. It was at this moment that I realized that I had something unbelievable in my hands and also that I would never be able to memorize it just standing there. One moral of the story is… never give a man with a scanner the poem you wrote to your girlfriend for valentine’s day that tries to let her know that you don’t necessarily like her. I asked, “you mind if I take this and look at it in my office?”. No problem. So without further ado, here’s it is…
So there you have it, complete with crossouts. Happy Smellentine’s. In case you can’t make it out here’s the text…
I move around alot these days,
I’m always on the move.
I’m in a kind of business phase,
where I’ve got a lot to prove.
When the day winds down, I think aloud
‘where will I go, what will I do’
I don’t have an answer yet,
but I do have a comfort,
Your calming presence, speaks to me,
your charm a heart-filled glee.
I move around a lot right now,
Sometimes it makes me blue,
Stick around a while with me,
I can always count on you.