Valentine love ain’t what it used to be

by | Feb 13, 2011 | Comment, Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

“Hey, Grandpa. Can I ask you something?”

“Sure, Adam.”

“What’s Valentine’s Day about?”

“It’s a day to celebrate love.”

“Yeah … I don’t get it.”


“Still don’t get it.”

“Well, you have a girlfriend, right? The one with the tattoos?”

“Ink, Grandpa.”

“Ink. I don’t know her name because you never bring her inside.”

“Her parents call her Emily. But that’s lame. She goes by”

“I see. But she’s your girl?”

“Whoa. That’s like, way possessive, Gramps. We just hang.”

“How long have you been … hanging?”

“Six years.”

“And what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?”

“That’s the thing. Like, what am I supposed to do for this whole holiday and stuff?”

“You do something romantic.”

“Oh, right, uh…. Like what?”

A rose is more than a flower

‘Well, Adam, you could bring her flowers.”

“From the ground? Yuck.”

“From a florist.”

“How much?

“A dozen roses? Maybe $30?”

“Dude! I could buy a video game for that.”

“How about chocolates?”

“She’s totally no-carb.”

“Take her somewhere nice?”

“Yeah. I could go over to her place and watch ‘Jersey Shore’ – like we usually do.”

“I meant a real date. A fancy restaurant. A nice meal. Candlelight.”

“Come on, Gramps. Who does that? Candlelight? You can’t even see who’s texting you.”

“Adam, I’m a little concerned about this relationship. How do you two show your affection?”

“Well, we (bleep) a lot.”

“A-hem … OK. Besides that?”

“She sends me funny tweets. She likes my jams. And … we (bleep) a lot.”

“You said that already.”

“Like, a lot.”

“Do you ever write her poetry?”

“That’s dorky.”

“Take her dancing?”

“Clubs charge too much.”

“Go for long walks? Hold hands? Watch the sunset? Talk about your hopes and dreams?”

“I send her photos on her cell phone.”

“Well, that’s nice.”

“Of my (bleep).”

“Oh, dear Lord.”

“And she sends me photos of her-“

“OK, OK. Never mind!”

The value of relationships

“What’s wrong, Grandpa?”

“I guess things are just different. In my day you took your time for love, you dressed up, you sent each other cards, you remembered little anniversaries.”

“That’s a lot of work.”

“Most good relationships are.”

“But love’s supposed to be fun.”

“Love is fun. It’s also respect, tenderness, empathy, sacrifice, sharing and understanding.”

“Hmm. You sound like Leo, down at work.”

“Is Leo celebrating Valentine’s Day?”

“Yeah, with Fred.”

“I need an aspirin.”

“No, seriously, dude, I need advice. I don’t want her freaking out and stuff.”

“Adam, I’m not your dude. And why would she freak out?”

“Because I think she has … expectations.”

“Ah. Expectations.”

“I know, right? Total bummer.”

“Listen. Why don’t you try this? Put on a clean shirt. With buttons. Drive to her house. Hand her a flower. Tell her how much she means to you. And ask if she’d like to join you for a quiet evening someplace special, to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

“OK…. But I better check if she’s around.”

“Yes. That’s considerate.”

“Lemme text this … here we go … and hey, to make it really special, I’ll take a picture of my-“

“Just press ‘send,’ Adam.”



Contact Mitch Albom: 313-223-4581 or


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New book, The Little Liar, arrives November 14. Get the details »

Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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