Going around the mulberry bush again

We’re going around and around the Valentine’s Day mulberry bush once again this year.

Wednesday is the big day, with Valentine’s Day falling on Ash Wednesday this year, so I guess fish is a good thing to figure for dinner. That’s probably a given.

But what about that special gift for me? How will Better Half manage to top years past of presenting to me so many sentimental tokens of his unwavering affection and adoration?

I did a quick mental review of some of them.

There was the year I got a new broom because I “swept” him off his feet (not because I needed “new wheels.”)

There was the year he gave me two shovels because he “double digs” me. (In truth we flat out needed a new shovel because it was snowing a lot that year, but he figured, hey, buy two. That way we can do the driveway together. Nothing says love quite like his and her shoveling.)

There was the year I got a new coffee pot — “grounds” for our relationship to keep “perking.”

There was the year he outlined a great big posterboard heart with all my favorite candy bars because he’s “so sweet” on me.

There was the year he got me an electric pencil sharpener so he could “stay sharp” and make the “point” yet again that he loved me.

I thought about all this as I laid in bed upstairs, exhausted from a cold or flu bug that had finally caught up with me, despite my smugness that I wouldn’t get sick and go down for the count like all my newsroom co-workers.

Not me, I told myself. Not on my watch.

I was in bed early the other evening and decided I needed a cool wash rag for my forehead and some cough syrup.

I didn’t feel like getting up, going to the top of the stairs and hollering down below for help, because yelling just sets off a coughing jag, so I did the next best thing, or so I thought.

I texted Better Half, who recently got a new phone and was getting acclimated to it.

Better Half was downstairs in the living room with my sister Cathy watching political news and no doubt engrossed in political commentary.

“Need cold wash rag and cough medicine,” I text.

Time passes.

No response.

Better Half is new to texting, so I could picture him struggling with his phone, if he even heard it “ping.”

I texted my sister.

“Need cold wash rag and cough medicine,” I text.

More s-l-o-w response time.


I hope these two never get a side job in the ER, I’m thinking.

This time I called my sister.

“He’s on his way,” she assured, apologetically.

I heard the door open.

In comes Better Half bearing the cold wash rag — wonderful — and a bag of cough drops, not the cough syrup.

One out of two ain’t bad, I guess.

I told Better Half not to worry about a Valentine’s Day gift at the rate we were going.

Cupid’s time of year is cause anymore for more perspiration than inspiration.

And judging from his sniffles and coughing, I’m pretty sure I’m giving him the flu as an early gift.

And maybe another texting lesson or two.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)