"What did you get me last year for Valentine's Day?"
I asked Better Half this a few days ago, realizing Feb. 14 was fast approaching and there had been no usual pre-holiday exhibits of angst on his part to come up with some creative way to acknowledge it on my behalf and surprise me with yet another annual display of wit and wonder.
There was silence as we drove home from an evening of errands to and fro, here and there.
"I don't remember," he confessed. "Maybe I didn't do anything."
I hesitated, trying to think back to what was almost a whole 365 days ago. It's hard enough to remember yesterday in the whirlwind spinning wheel of life.
"Oh, yes you did," I corrected-challenged him.
"Remember, you sprinkled a trail of hay to the couch where you had that present wrapped for me - some western cowgirl shirts - and there was a sign on the box that read 'Hay, I love you!'"
I laughed anew about the "hay" even as I recalled that I was the one who cleaned it up.
Better Half shook his head in the affirmative, confirming what has been his clever through-the-years approach to being Cupid just for me.
He seemed pleased.
"What are you doing this year?" I pressed for some insider information, a hint of something that I could be looking forward to come Tuesday. Besides, I'm nibby. I am a reporter, you know.
"Nothing," he said.
"Nothing?" I responded in disbelief. "What do you mean, nothing?"
"Nothing," he repeated with conviction. "Enough's enough."
I smiled a sarcastic smile and figured I'd play along with the new attitude of his not wanting to participate in these reindeer games any more.
He won't be able to stand not doing something, I reassured myself.
It's just not his style.
This is the guy, after all, who one year gave me, not one, but two shovels, because he "double digs" me.
This is the guy, after all, who gave me a broom - a broom, by golly - because I "swept" him off his feet, not because I needed a transportation upgrade.
This is the guy, after all, who gave me a coffeepot because our love is always brewing.
This is the guy who gave me a big cut-out heart with all my favorite candy bars attached to it because he's so "sweet" on me.
And this is the guy who gave me an electric pencil sharpener to make the "sharp point" that ours is a true love indeed.
I can't hardly compete with any of that, save the year I presented him with a bag of pistachios, proclaiming I'm "nuts" about him.
So there are two days left until Valentine's Day.
And I'm sure I won't be disappointed.
Nothing says I love you like a little deadline pressure.
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer with the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)