Love is in the air or maybe it’s burnt toast 


With Valentines Day coming soon, women are giddy, thinking no cooking, and instead, candlelit dinners and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Men might be exhilarated on this day too, but their anticipation would have nothing to do with dining or dancing. Trust me, I know things.   

Song of Solomon sings, You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” I can tell you with a great deal of accuracy that Gar would never sing that to me. In fact, I have a hunch he would never even speak those words. While I know he loves me, thinks Im marginally attractive, not counting mornings, he knows I have a lot of flaws. We understand Solomon though because he was writing for a bridegroom to his bride. Yes, newlyweds, and who doesnt get gushy on the wedding night? But then Solomon sang, Draw me after you; let us run.” Say what? Gar and I guffaw heartily, Did he say run?”  

Ive always tried to be someone Gar could be proud of; someone he wouldnt be embarrassed to take out in full view of the community. Thankfully, a few of my shortcomings have been hidden so hes never had to witness me publicly in my full nitwittery.  

It was winter and we were in a mall where I was shopping. Id left Gar at the food court to read his book, so as I walked, I hummed to music playing over the sound system. Passing a storefront displaying $200 cashmere sweaters, I thought, Classy.” Then noticing my reflection, I thought I looked pretty good. It was a lucky day for my hair, I had on new jeans, and was feeling spiffy with a little lilt in my step. It was then I heard the click-clicking in my purse and realized my recently purchased stool softeners were reminding me not to get ahead of myself. Their tap dancing took some of the uppity wind from my sails as I giggled, Oh ya, I am really classy.”  

Without a pocket, Ive been known to put a Kleenex up my sleeve under my watchband, which causes much eye rolling among my offspring. A few years back, I woke one morning to a photo of a woman with a tissue up her sleeve, under her watch and it was texted to me by my daughter who was in Israel. She said, Weve been to Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast where chariots raced, saw Elah Valley where David slew Goliath and visited Capernaum where Jesus spent 80 percent of His time, then as we crossed the Sea of Galilee in an ancient wooden boat, I spotted this lady and it brought me right back home to you…Kleenex in her watch…old people. Haha.”  

And my sleeve isnt the only questionable place I put tissues. One afternoon, we were sitting at our grandsons lacrosse practice when Tug, our oldest son, mentioned a new acquaintance, saying, Hes the nicest guy and really sharp.” I mused to myself what my husband and offspring might say about me and decided it wasnt either one of those. I glanced over at a mom sitting some distance away with long, silky, black hair and olive skin, with just a touch of dark gloss to her lips. She was perhaps 30 and I pondered if, in the eyes of my family, I would have measured up to that groomed beauty when I was her age. I supposed not, but as I had this quiet communication with myself, I contentedly gave a little shrug, knowing I was never meant to be something other than me. It was then I realized the little ball of Kleenexes Id had in the waistband of my pants had voluntarily wandered off and was now riding bunched up between the inside of my jeans and the front of my thigh. If anyone had noticed, theyd have taken pity, thinking I had a tumor. I chortled, then silently mentioned to God that I realized Hed never been into me being cool, but surely-surely, He could try a little harder to keep me from looking like a total zero.  

I was at the grocery store and should have gotten a large buggy but didnt, so crammed it all into a small one. When checking out, the cashier watched me bag and put everything back into the tiny cart. Upon finishing she said, I cannot believe you got it all into that space.” I nodded, Ya, my stretch pants say the same thing.”