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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks


I am a pleaser. I don’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings, and I don’t want anyone to be upset with me. Paul does not believe this at all; I guess he’s the lucky exception to the rule.

Because of this trait, I tend to sugarcoat things to make them more palatable. I am fond of what Churchill once said, “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”

As much as I love diplomacy and tact, I do find straight-shooting refreshing occasionally (as long as it’s not from me or aimed at me.)

Not long ago, I read an article about a zoo in Pakistan, where a man went into the cage and was mauled to death by the tigers. Their newspaper said he must’ve been a lunatic, because no normal person would’ve jumped into the den. We in the West would have couched it in much more politically correct terms. 

The other day a friend of ours vehemently gave his opinion about Valentine’s Day and how it was nothing but commercialism and guilt. I jokingly asked Paul what this friend's wife might get for Valentine’s Day, and Paul immediately responded with “ A Manifesto.”

I have to admit that the man’s honesty was refreshing, and I do believe a lot of what he said is true. As much as I love pinning paper hearts all over our house, Paul and I don’t celebrate the day. Excluding all the commercial hype though, how can you not love a holiday about LOVE?

If you know me at all, you know one of my very favorite authors is Robert Fulghum of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten fame. He writes humorous and poignant essays about people and places he encounters. One story especially really made an impression.

The story begins in the waiting room of the doctor's office. Fulghum observed an elderly man and woman, and the man was shouting out, “Merry Christmas" even though it was nowhere near December.  All of the nurses were returning his “Merry Christmas” with greetings of the same.

Fulghum naturally struck up a conversation with the man’s wife and she explained that her husband had the beginnings of dementia. She said that about every two weeks or so he would become committed to celebrating Christmas and would call out to everyone he met “Merry Christmas.”

Once this cycle came around in July, and his wife and his kids thought What the heck; so they decorated the house, bought and wrapped presents, cooked a big dinner, and celebrated to the hilt.

Interested and deeply touched, Fulghum asked what about other holidays like Halloween or Thanksgiving or Valentines. The woman patted her husband’s hand and responded “Every day is Valentine’s Day.”

Wishing you lots of love!

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