21 Mar 2008
My wife and I have been celebrating Valentine’s Day for as long as I can remember. This, of course, does not mean very much because I cannot remember what I had for lunch yesterday. All I know is we have celebrated this festive time of the year for a very long time.
I remember our first one very distinctly. I had met this young lady who is now the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in September and over the Christmas holiday she made what I thought was a casual remark, “Wouldn’t it be nice to get married.”
Thinking she was making casual conversation I joined with a very hardy, “Yeah, that would be cool.” It took me many years to realize that women do not make casual remarks. Everything they say is etched in stone. Where do you think God got the idea of putting the Ten Commandments in stone?
Toward the end of January that year, it began to dawn on me that I had inadvertently proposed marriage to this young lady, and where I come from a gentleman never goes back on his word. The next step would be to make this whole matter official and present her with an engagement ring.
Our very first Valentine’s day started with presenting her with an engagement ring. At the time, I did not know the full import of what I had done. Among other things, it has been quite hard to top Valentine’s Day from this very first one. Through the years I have tried but to no avail.
Until this year.
Sometimes when you think you are looking a gift horse in the mouth you are at the wrong end. This did not start out that way, but it sure ended up that way.
I was working late one night and had the television on to keep me company when I saw this particular commercial for pajama-grams. Immediately it caught my attention. All those years I have been trying to find something that could come close to topping our first Valentine’s Day and I believe I was looking at it on the TV.
Believe me; I paid close attention to the advertisement. It was unusual and romantic but it had one other quality that attracted me. It was simple, and if I am anything, I am simple. I fell in love with this idea.
I went to the Web site, searched out their catalog and found several pajamas that seemed to fit the bill. Carefully, I selected a very nice pair of red flannel pajamas.
The great thing about this Valentine’s Day present was they would gift wrap it and send it, and there would be nothing more I need to do. I love it when a plan comes together.
I carefully put the idea in the back of my mind (there was plenty of room), and went about my business knowing I had accomplished something I had tried to do for many years.
The package arrived and I carefully concealed it so I could surprise her on Valentine’s Day. As I walked away from my hidden treasure a little voice in the back of my head said, “You better open it and check it out.” Well, you know what they say about those little voices in your head.
The day finally arrived and I was so excited I could hardly wait to give her a Valentine’s Day present to beat all Valentine’s Day presents. I was not prepared, however, for the unfolding events of the day.
When I gave her the present, she was quite excited. I have not seen this much excitement in the parsonage for a long time. I was pleased with myself. Then she opened the present.
All I can say is, between when I ordered the pajamas and when she opened the pajama-gram, something drastically happened. What she pulled out of the box was not a nice pair of red flannel pajamas. Either someone at the company was playing a joke with me or the garments were seriously defective.
What she pulled out of the box was not only a fraction of the garment I ordered, but also it had large gaping holes in places it had no business gaping. The pajamas she pulled out of the box did not have enough material to keep a flea warm during an August night in Florida.
She held this flimsy garment up and stared at it for a while and then looked at me and said, “Do you expect me to wear this?”
Boy was I in trouble. If I said, “Yes,” I was in trouble ... bad trouble. If I said, “No,” I was in trouble ... serious trouble.
No matter what I did or said, I was in a dilemma such as I never was in before. And you do not make lemonade out of this kind of dilemma.
I quickly checked my invoice and immediately detected the error. I intended to order A-392, which was the red flannel pajama I was expecting. What they sent me was X-392, which was not red flannel pajamas, but sexy red lingerie.
I now live in paralyzing fear. Sometime, someday, when I least expect it, she will pull this garment out and say, “Look what I got for Valentine’s Day.”
When it comes to God’s love for us, there is no mistake about it. “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 KJV.)
God’s love is never off.
Rev. James L. Snyder