SamHenry’s Elder Valentine’s Day 2011 – A Day Many “Best” Efforts Fail

Posted on February 15, 2011


Valentine’s Day?  As the heart grows older, it turns to the best wishes to others to have a good one – especially those who are planning a big surprise for a loved one.  The big surprise usually is multiple big disappointments: flowers arrive dead, wrong or not at all and the recipient is either mad or allergic to the choice.  Or it’s a dinner reservation that never was recorded in the annals of restaurant history.  There should be a survivor’s guide to a holiday more complicated and painful than Christmas (and its counterparts).

SamHenry barely survived the day.  Careful thought was given to telling nieces   shortly before 2/14/2011  that they would soon receive family treasures.  One thing about this generation: they really don’t like anyone’s family treasures.

Treasures? They hate to polish silver and paying for a safe deposit box; they hate furniture that needs constant care and isn’t chrome and glass; and they really don’t want to take up room in their homes for boxes of sacred family linens that , in-the-main, stay in the boxes until they are again passed on.  So much for the efforts of relatives 5 generations earlier who not only worked the monograms on these pieces but wove the linen themselves.  Years of custodial care wasted.  Telling them that  in Egypt they keep things a long, long time bring responses such as “where’s Egypt”?  “What is an atlas”? ” Oh, that’s ancient history.”  They don’t like locations further away than Disney and history is neither known nor appreciated.

The niece factor confirms the conviction of most:  friends rather than relatives make one happiest. One of the student boarders went out for dinner with her boyfriend and he gave her a necklace on money earned doing SamHenry’s errands so old bones would not fall on the ice.  He is sweet but each time he hits the back door, he has a proposal for another project here.  However, this week the fact that Valentine’s Day was coming occurred and a happy, rent-paying boarder seemed worth the cost.  SamHenry’s  money bought her a swell day. She confirmed the success in her bubbly account of it. That Valentine moment was Sam’s Valentine moment by proxy.  For SamHenry, that’s enough “at my age.”