One day left

Okay, guys, how are you coming on your Valentine’s Day plans for your wife or significant other? Have you selected the special, highly personal playlist of songs and burned a CD or uploaded it to her MP3 player? No?

Well have you written her a poem, or a letter, telling her how much she means to you? Thought of something special to say that’s not too many words to memorize?

What, you mean you’re going to rush down to the store, find a hyper-priced bunch of roses or an over-packaged box of chocolates, or buy one of those spa packages that tells your wife, “Honey, I love you, but you need a whole day of people working on you to get beautiful!”? (Or worse, “Honey, I saw this spa ad in the sports section and the woman in the photo looked really hot, draped in this sheet and, uh, yeah, well, and it made me think of you! Yeah, that’s the ticket!”)

You might as well throw yourself on her mercy (she’s probably used to it anyway) or let yourself be led to slaughter on the altar of Hallmark by a couple of those winged FTD guys.

Wait a minute, maybe it’s not too late. Find a nice, romantic poem, type it into your computer, use a frilly font, print it out in color, buy a nice frame at Target. VoilĂ ! What do you mean, all you can think of is “Casey at the Bat?” Okay, here’s a good one by Kenneth Rexroth. It’s been tried, tested and personally guaranteed by me.

Click to enlarge.

Long cool woman in a black dress

With Valentine’s Day coming up I thought I’d give you less romantic guys out there a good suggestion for a Valentine’s Day gift for your significant other. (I know, I know, you look at me and then you look at the Reverend Mother and you think, “Da-yum, that guy has just got to have some romantic secrets!”) Anyway, here’s what I did for my wife for last Valentine’s Day (take notes, kids): I recorded a CD for her!

No, not me singing. She may put up with a lot, but me singing goes way beyond “till death do you part” for her. Instead I used my iTunes account to hunt down and burn a CD of special songs that all described her (or the two of us together in some way). To give you a flavor of how this works, here are the songs I recorded (don’t try these at home, you’ve got to come up with your own songlist).

The title of the CD was Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress by The Hollies. In this particular case there isn’t much about the song that describes my wife except the title: she’s long, she’s cool and she wears black. A lot.

The first song is Oh, Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison. An easy and obvious intro that’s “pretty” fitting, but the particular lyric in this song that best describes my feelings is when Roy goes, Growwwwl. Mercy!

Another song is Dream Weaver by Gary Wright. You see, my wife gets prophetic dreams a lot. Not really the “see the future” type dreams, but dreams God gives her that tell what is going on in someone else’s life (so she can pray or know how to minister) or a sign in her own life. Unlike regular dreams that she forgets immediately, when she has a “God Dream” it’s very detailed and sticks with her until she writes it down.

Pretty women out walking with gorillas down my street… Is She Really Going Out With Him? by Joe Jackson. Yeah, she is. What of it? (I told you earlier, big secrets of romance).

I also put Travelin’ Prayer by Billy Joel on there. This one is included because of all the times she’s traveled abroad on missions trips, whether the Philippines (twice), China or Romania while I’m back at home thinking, Hey Lord, take a look all around tonight and find where my baby’s gonna be; Hey Lord, would ya look out for her tonight ‘Cause she is far across the sea; Hey Lord, would ya look out for her tonight; And make sure that she’s gonna be alright; And things are gonna be alright with me. There’s even a line in there about making sure all her dreams are sweet!

Another song that has great personal significance is Seven Bridges Road by the Eagles. One day when we’d been dating for about three months we took an autumn day trip up to Duluth, MN and the North Shore. There’s a road that leads up away from Duluth and Lake Superior known by my wife as “The Road to Seven Bridges.” It cuts through the forest and over streams (and seven bridges) and you see a lot of beautiful scenery and finally you can look down on the city and the lake like a panorama. It was a great day and that night when we got back to town I asked her to marry me — and she said yes and did so about a year later!

The next song really ties in with the previous one, but I didn’t realize it until just now. It’s Unbelievable by Diamond Rio, which, as just occurred to me, has the lyric: She’s so elegant, intelligent, heaven sent, all my money spent; I put a big down payment on that itty bitty diamond ring. The part I like best is that She’s so kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable!

Despite what you might think of a guy who proposes after just three months, I tend to over-think and over-analyze things. Think Too Much by Paul Simon was on the cassette we listened to driving back from Duluth as faith and reason tumbled over and over in my head as Paul sang “Maybe I think too much for my own good; Some people say so; Other people say no no; The fact is You don’t think as much as you could,” and Paul and I both said, “Hmmmm.”

Back when we first fell in love I would have walked 500 miles and then walked 500 more just so I could be the man who walked 1000 miles fell down at her door. Yes, The Proclaimers and I’m Gonna Be (500 miles), assuring her that When I’m lonely, well I know I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be the man who’s lonely without you; And when I’m dreaming, well I know I’m gonna dream; I’m gonna Dream about the time when I’m with you. More dreams! I’d still walk that far, but it would take so long these days that I’m not sure she’d wait for me.

The next song on the CD is You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. Except…I believe in miracles!

If you love a woman, you’ll do anything for her. Climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest sea, fight a grizzly bear, let her have the last doughnut, etc. You’ll even, when you know she’s a Barry Manilow fan, download Barry’s version of Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, even though you know it’s going to go on your permanent record somewhere.

My favorite song on the CD is She by Elvis Costello, from the Notting Hill soundtrack. It’s a love song not burdened or blinded by sentimentality but all the truer for the deep realization that this is it for you: Me, I’ll take her laughter and her tears; And make them all my souvenirs; For where she goes I’ve got to be; The meaning of my life is…She.

What better way to wrap things up but with Joe Cocker singing You Are So Beautiful:

You are so beautiful to me
You are so beautiful to me
Can’t you see
Your everything I hoped for
Your everything I need
You are so beautiful to me

Such joy and happiness you bring
Such joy and happiness you bring
Like a dream
A guiding light that shines in the night
Heavens gift to me
You are so beautiful to me

School’s out, I think I hear my wife calling me.