Vernacular

It’s hard to top Shakespeare when it comes to mixing or matching words of our lifetimes.

The present week is as puzzling as life itself.

The entire seven days are crowded with billions of viruses but will end with expressions of love writ large in Valentines.

In my early years in a country school, there was a tradition that involved parents buying enough valentines for the entire classroom — a nice gesture during the Great Depression.

The holiday originated as a minor Western Christian feast by honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Valentine.

Shakespeare contributed these thoughts:

“Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it.”

“Did my heart love till now?”

And a grim finale rhyme:

“For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

The extraordinary week began on Tuesday with the impeachment trial of ex-President Donald Trump. And the viruses are still running amok but love will have its day.

The tradition is that during the sainted time — this year on Sunday, but on Feb. 14 of every year — lovers will express their affection with greetings and gifts.

For all the years of my second marriage, to Margie, I viewed the day with dread.

My wife expected me to publish an original love note in the Antelope Valley Press Valentine section.

I always made the deadline, but it was very difficult to come up with an adequate, original romantic note.

There was pressure to exceed the previous year’s message of marital love and Margie would kid me that the message was clear but not as good as the previous year.

It was the year’s hardest piece of writing for me and Margie would frown that I had flunked the effort.

When I selected her headstone, I had “beautiful and brilliant” carved into the little monument, for those were the best words I could find to describe her.

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