Your Funny Valentine

There are two kinds of romantic partners: the ones you play with and the ones you marry.

The first kind are the serial lady-killers. They have a packed address book and suffer from frequent inability to commit issues. They are drop dead handsome, with good skin and a better wardrobe. They usually have a flashy sports car, and keep a mental belt in their heads for notching off just how many twenty-somethings they’ve made it with. Play with them if you must, but do not make the very common mistake of falling for them, thinking you can change them. You can’t. Ever. Exhibit A, Brad Pitt. A handsome lady magnet whose antics may have helped land a very complex, high profile family in divorce court. And if Angelina Jolie can’t reel the Brad Pitts of this world in, who are you and I to try?

Then there is option 2. The steady, reliable, maybe only handsome to you type. They may be a tad overweight. They may drive a used Prius. They are the ones to father your children, start an IRA with, and can generally go the distance. You may be bored sometimes. But it is not their job to entertain you. Their job is to love you and live with you and be there for you. And they will, if you’ve done your job right of picking the right lovable nudnik.

Listen to the song lyrics of “My Funny Valentine.” That’s the type I’m talking about. It was written by Frank Sinatra, who knew a thing or two about romance:

“My funny valentine

Sweet comic valentine

You make me smile with my heart

Your looks are laughable

Unphotographable

Yet you’re my favorite work of art.”

I should know. I’ve been married twice, with more than my share of romances along the way. Some long-term, some lasting only a few days, but all were rich, enjoyable and compelling. And I have absolutely no regrets.

I’m married now for over 21 years to husband #2 (husband #1 was also a very nice nudnik) to my reliable-as-stone partner. Whom I love to the moon and back, and on occasion can’t stand to be in the same room with. This is typical, and nothing to get upset about. And I am certain he feels the same way about me.

And when you’ve found your reliable-as-stone partner, do not complain to your friends and family about how boring he is. How there’s nothing going on in life with him. It is not David or Edward or whoever’s job to tap-dance his way through life so you might never have a moment of ennui. It’s yours.

So go out there, intrepid reader, and marry yourself a nice, decent fellow with hopefully a stable family. Because don’t forget, you also marry his family, in ways that become more and more evident as they years whiz by. One who will pick the kids up from day care when you have a fever of 102. And will take the garbage out in the rain. He won’t mind when you crash his car, nearly totaling it, as long as you’re OK, “that’s what’s important.”

Then take your camera, your hiking boots, the dog, the horse, the sailboat or whatever, and make yourself some excitement. David or Jeff will be patiently waiting at home for you, if you break your leg or a fingernail. If you’re very lucky, he might come along for the ride. And I bet he’s going to be there for you when the Brad Pitts of this world are long gone.

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