Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Valentine’s play

Last year, I bought my wife a gift and a card on Valentine’s Day. When I brought them home, she said, “Oh. I thought we weren’t celebrating it.”

I spent days pondering what that meant. Especially since I thought everything was fine.

Today was Valentine’s Day again. As we know, I was busy out of town for four days, then utterly jammed the past two. And I had to pick up not just my son, but also two of his friends after school for a sleepover so their mother could have her first date in three years (on Valentine’s Day, no less). So even though on the way home, I thought about it being Valentine’s Day, if I stopped to get something for my wife, it would be not only last-minute and inconvenient — but also unnecessary, because it seemed to have been established last year that we weren’t celebrating it.  I didn’t know why we weren’t celebrating it, or when we had evidently agreed not to, but somehow, the story went, we had. So I drove home with said kids in tow and ordered a pizza and a salad and that was it.

Then my wife came home with a gift and a card for me. “Happy Valentine’s Day!” she said. Then she grew slightly impatient when I didn’t open either item right away.

So I have several theories about this. (As I told someone today, 35 years of writing plays have left me focused on motivation.)

  1. She’s toying with me. Then and now.
  2. She isn’t toying with me, and this year she’s in a better mood than last year.
  3. Last year, I did agree not to celebrate it but then forgot, and this year I was too preoccupied and used last year as an excuse. (If those things are true, I’m the unwitting villain in this piece.)
  4. Neither one of us knows what the fuck we’re doing.

By the way, the year before, we celebrated perhaps the best Valentine’s Day ever for us, with a wonderful time before, during and after a fine meal at a fantastic restaurant with romantic live guitar accompaniment. So one thing you can say for us:  After 28 Valentine’s Days together, we’re still not stuck in a rut.

3 Responses to “Valentine’s play”

  1. Christopher Meeks Says:

    Lee, I could only laugh because we’re married men, and we can be as clueless as single guys. Your inner playwright, however, kicks in, and you analyze your and your wife’s motivation. It’s clear you understand how you work, and you’re forever puzzled by Valerie. Her mystery may be why, after 28 years, you’re still intrigued. May the mystery keep on going a long time.

  2. Paul Says:

    My vote in option four.

  3. Dan Says:

    “What do women want? My god, what do they want?”


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