February 14 is Valentine's Day.
According to legend, Valentine was a Roman priest during the third century. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he decreed that young men were forbidden to get married.
However, Valentine defied the ruling and continued to perform marriages of young couples in secret. His actions were eventually discovered compelling Claudius to order the priest's death.
While in prison awaiting death, Valentine fell in love with a young woman, believed to be the jailer's daughter, who visited him regularly. Before his execution, it is alleged that Valentine wrote the young woman a note which he signed "from your Valentine."
Thus, Valentine was put to death and Valentine's Day was born.
When I first started dating my ex-wife it never occurred to me to get her anything on Valentine's Day. She spent the next several weeks in a huff. On our second Valentine's Day together, I gave her a nice piece of jewelry and she gave me an oven mitt.
Needless to say, I never did figure her out. We were married the following year and divorced five years later. She got the house and I got to keep the oven mitt.
On Valentine's Day, or any other day, a woman may ask a seemingly innocent question. A correct answer will usually lead to temporary approval, at least until the next seemingly innocent question. But any dimwitted answer, of which there are many, will surely bring about long-term torment.
Question: "Do you love me?"
A) "I guess so."
B) "In what sense?"
C) "Most of the time."
D) "Who, me?"
X) Correct answer -- "Of course, dear."
Question: "What are you thinking about?"
B) "My dog."
C) "I was wondering when the next Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition was going to be available."
D) "If I wanted you to know, I'd be talking instead of thinking."
X) Correct answer -- "I was just thinking about what a wonderful, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, beautiful woman you are and what a lucky guy I am to be with you."
Question: "Do you think she's prettier than me?"
A) "You have a much better personality."
B) "Only from a certain angle."
C) "It's hard to say."
D) "She's just younger and thinner."
X) Correct answer -- "Absolutely not, dear."
Question: "Do I look fat in this dress?"
A) "I wouldn't exactly call it fat -- I'd call it more like pleasantly plump."
B) "Nobody will notice."
C) "Compared to what?"
D) "Don't worry about it -- a little extra weight looks good on you."
X) Correct answer -- "No, of course not, darling."
The key to a blissful relationship is sincerity. If you can fake sincerity, your relationship will endure.
Quote for the Day -- "Love makes your soul crawl out of its hiding place." Zora Neale Hurston
Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist and the author of nine books. He lives alone in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and an oven mitt.