Will Valentine’s Day 2018 be a ‘Re-Pete?’


Photo by Pat Van Dyke.

Valentine’s Day is only a few days away. Last year I was very successful at dropping hints and Pastor Pete was very good at understanding them. He actually gave me a dozen long-stemmed red roses. Roses that weren’t cut from his 24 rose bushes that surround our home. Roses that weren’t ones that he found in the baskets at the 99 Cent Store. He gave me actual real roses from Canyon Lake Florists. Roses that smelled wonderful.

So, in order to make sure that the next year would be at least even, or maybe even better, I knew that I had to act quickly. Once the roses began to droop, I gathered them into a small bunch, put a rubber band around the stems, hammered a nail above the exit door in our garage and convinced him that I was hanging them there to dry, but I had another motive.

Because we recycle everything, I hung them above the door in front of our “recycling center.” That way he would be sure to see them and realize that he had set a precedent that had to be met or exceeded. Recently, I added a few “gentle reminders” such as a sign that says, “Will 2018 be a Re-Pete?”

In order to assure my success, I couldn’t help but remind him that “V-day” was near. It was my choice of when to remind him that caused a problem. How was I supposed to know that the last minutes of a Super Bowl game was important? They had already played for over three hours so I figured that the game was pretty well over. If you watch a movie the last three minutes are the credits and that doesn’t count for anything.

When there were three minutes left in the game, I casually mentioned to Pastor Pete that it was Valentine’s Day and asked if he had any plans. He waved his arms to let me know that I was standing in front of the TV. There were only minutes left, so I decided to wait.

Three minutes later, I repeated the question but was waved away once again. I soon learned that three minutes left didn’t really mean three minutes left.

Nine minutes later, I returned sure that the possibility that the “three minutes left” time, which was now nine minutes, had lapsed and the game was over.

As I started to address the topic of possible Valentine’s Day adventures, Pastor Pete began to wave frantically which I took as an indication that the game still wasn’t over. As I tried to talk to Pastor Pete, he mumbled, “Not now, there are only two minutes left.” Two minutes?! His internal clock has things totally wrong. That meant that it took 12 minutes to play one minute.

It was time to put my limited math skills to work. In football, a quarter is 15 minutes long which makes the total amount of actual game playing an hour long. I gave halftime a gracious 30 minutes which makes the total amount of time spent on the field if the players and coaches use their time properly by actually playing, the game could be over in 90 minutes.

I then noted that all of the players, coaches and almost everyone else on the field were men so I gave them an additional 45 minutes to spend just making decisions. Total time expected for a game to be played: two hours and 15 minutes. This game was way over two hours and 15 minutes!

Six minutes later, I again queried about the game and discovered that there was now 48 seconds left. Things were looking up I thought but was so wrong. It took five minutes to go from 48 seconds to 42 seconds.

It didn’t stop there. It took four minutes to get from 42 seconds to 26 seconds, three minutes to get from 26 seconds to 13 seconds and two minutes to get from 13 seconds to 9 seconds. The next time someone tells me that time doesn’t stand still, I’m going to disagree. In football, it does.

It was then that I decided that I was going to use this time warp to my advantage.

I’m going to start hinting that maybe instead of staying home on Valentine’s Day, we should go out for dinner, just like we used to do when we were dating 49.6 years ago but who’s counting. And I’m going to hint that we go to a fancy restaurant, one with menus on paper and not on the wall and one without the calories listed next to the price.

Then, on Valentine’s Day when Pastor Pete tells me that we are going to leave for dinner in 20 minutes, I will ask for another 10 minutes to get ready. That extra 10 minutes will be my version of halftime. Thirty minutes later, he will ask me if I’m ready and I’ll ask for another five minutes.

That’s my version of reviewing the play. Ten minutes later when he’s standing at the door with his keys in his hands, I’ll tell him “give me another 2 minutes.” Overtime! Things really won’t get serious until he is in the car with the motor running. After all, I’m on “football time.”


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Pat Van Dyke