‘Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga’ — thinking about Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day — the national holiday that commonly involves expressing heartfelt sentiments with heart-shaped boxes of chocolates — is upon us.

Finding a fitting Valentine gift for your Significant Other can be problematic if you have been in a relationship for a long time. It’s difficult to seem romantic and spontaneous when you have shared dozens of Valentine’s Days. A guy has only so many tricks in his little black bag.

Things are much easier when a relationship is in its early days and everything is sparkly and new.

“Oh my gosh!” a young female might gush to one of her friends. “Chad brought me a bouquet of flowers! He is so romantic and spontaneous!”

Things go a bit differently when I give flowers to my wife.

“Oh my gosh!” she’ll exclaim, “What did you do? What did you buy? Did you go tractor shopping again?”

I will spontaneously give flowers to my wife “just because,” as a way to express my deep affection for her. For some reason, the decapitated stems of certain plants have a way of conveying such feelings. Why this is remains a mystery to me; I am simply following the rules.

Once I have convinced my wife that I haven’t done anything that will put us in financial peril, she will trim the flowers, arrange them artfully in a vase and place them in our bay window. Sparkles, our cat, will hop up into the window and examine the flowers, giving each of them a dainty, cat-like sniff.

Satisfied with the results of her inspection, Sparkles will plunk her furry little heinie down near the vase. She will then give us an expression that seems to say, “I hereby grant you permission to take a photo. Isn’t this a pretty sight? The flowers aren’t too bad either.”

I have discovered that “just because” flowers count for less in the summertime when our peonies and irises are in full bloom. Why should flowers obtained for free from our yard be less valuable than those purchased from a florist? This is yet another mystery.

One way to win the affections of your prospective heartthrob would be to pen a poem. It needs to be something original and from the heart. A person could use AI to create a love poem, but this would be cheating. It would be akin to stuffing four aces up your sleeve during a poker game.

But there is nothing wrong with borrowing a little from the greats. For instance, a particular female person who has been in a relationship with a certain male for a very long time (ahem) could rework a familiar old ditty to read:

Roses are red,

Violets are blue.

Please close your mouth,

Whenever you chew.

As a teenager, I found great meaning and romance in popular rock ballads. One example would be the song “Hooked on a Feeling” by the group Blue Swede. The song’s opening lyrics remain so deeply moving for me that I will quote them here:

“Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga, ooga-chaka ooga-ooga, ooga-chaka ooga-ooga, oga-chaka ooga-ooga.” (This is repeated several times.)

That pretty much says it all as far as I’m concerned. But wait, there’s more! That song also contained such meaningful lyrics such as, “Got a bug from you, girl, but I don’t need no cure.”

How romantic is that? The singer is willing to risk his health to be with the object of his affection!

A person could purchase a Valentine’s Day card, but that’s essentially buying a romantic sentiment from some random stranger in a dark alley. Where do the words in those cards come from? Are they cranked out in a dank sweatshop under the lash of a cruel taskmaster?

“More rhyme!” bellows the Valentine’s Day card production supervisor. “Don’t worry about the meter! The people who buy these cards wouldn’t know a romantic metaphor if it dropped onto their heads!”

Treating your Significant Other to an intimate meal at a swanky restaurant is a tried-and-true romantic gesture. I have learned the hard way that this does not include taking your wife to a farm supply store for Hotdog Days. Although, in my opinion, there are few things more romantic and money-saving than getting a hotdog and a soda for fifty cents.

One way to get things cooking is to cook a gourmet meal at home. My wife, who is clearly a candidate for sainthood, recently said to me, “I would be happy to just get a new set of pots and pans for Valentine’s Day. What would you think of that?”

I found this romantic beyond words. All I could say was, “Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga, ooga-chaka ooga-ooga!”

— Jerry’s book, Dear County Agent Guy, is available at http://Workman.com and in bookstores nationwide.


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