Valentine’s Day Baseball Style

I have to admit, Valentine’s Day has gotten a lot easier since the Arizona Diamondbacks changed their colors from Purple and Teal to Sedona Red and Sonoran Sand. Have you ever tried to find a purple and teal Valentine gift? It’s a lot harder than you think.

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that make most men just cringe. You are basically in a no win situation. If you don’t go crazy and shower your significant other with gifts and attention you are branded as uncaring. If on the other hand you do shower her with all of the love and attention that she needs you have set yourself up to a night of chick flicks and a bar set so high that you will fail miserably the following year.

Luckily for me, my wife has very low expectations when it comes to this holiday. That may be a result of me falling flat on my face in getting her the proper Valentine’s Day gift year after year after year. I guess you could say that I am the Chicago Cubs of Valentine’s Day minus the goat curse.

This year was going to be different. I promised myself that I would show her that deep down I really was a romantic guy but not enough of a romantic to have to sit through watching Terms of Endearment or crying when Old Yeller died. Who knows, if I can somehow pull this off maybe I get to pick the romantic movie tonight and I haven’t seen Bull Durham in a long time.

My first challenge was to try and find a card that would express my feelings without necessarily handing over my man card and being classified as a complete sissy. I ventured into the Hallmark store, which in and of itself is a painful ordeal. There is just something about having myself surrounded by greeting cards and scented candles that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

Normally I try to take a deep breath, hold it, run into the store, grab the first greeting card that starts with “To my lovely wife”, pay for it, and run out of the door before I pass out from holding my breath. Even with all those safeguards I still find my clothes smell like spring lilacs or scented French vanilla for hours after leaving the store.

This year though I vowed that I would endure the smells of Hallmark and actually find a card that would bring tears to my wife’s eyes. I couldn’t be sure that the tears were not a result of the overpowering scent of spring lilacs candles but you know what I mean.

With a slightly fearful look in my eyes I walked into the store and made a beeline to the card counter. There I must have looked at about a million cards. Ok that my be an exaggeration I really looked at four but that’s three more than I usually look at and this year all the cards I picked up were in English which is a change from years past. Oh and guys for the record, getting your wife or girl friend a card in a foreign language doesn’t not mean you are suave or continental; trust me on this.

With my card in hand I made my way to the counter feeling much like a cow must feel when being led to the slaughter. I’m not exactly sure why I have this fear of Hallmark stores; maybe it’s the countless times my wife has drug me there looking at Christmas ornaments.

As I stood there in line I glanced over at a display case and stopped dead in my tracks. There peering out at me was – a baseball. A baseball in Hallmark; what are the odds of that? It wasn’t just any baseball though. It was a Valentine’s baseball. How do I know it was a Valentine’s baseball you ask? The stitches on the ball were in a heart shape.

At first I felt sorry for the ball being trapped in a Hallmark store and ridiculed by the other balls for having stitches that were a little different. But rather than laugh and point like some of the rude women in the store I took pity on the little ball and decided to buy it and set it free.

With a card and a baseball I paid for my purchase and left the store just before losing consciousness from the smell of Yankee Candles. I had the perfect gift; one that would probably make me a first-ballot husband Hall-of-Famer or at least garner enough votes to be put on next year’s ballot.

When I got home I sat down and penned perhaps the most beautiful verse in the card and sat it on the table along with my gift. The words were simple but the message powerful, “You are the MVP of my heart”. Yeah if I was pitching this Valentine’s Day this would have been a no hitter and with my wife anytime I don’t get hit it’s a successful day.

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