Some friends at work joined me today in discussing a plan for an exchange that could set this Valentine’s Day apart from others. Suppose two people agreed to complete these statements about one other – to spend time between now and Thursday of next week thinking about the answers, trying them out, writing them out, and then on Valentine's Day presenting them as a gift:
1. There’s no one like N (Nomen=name) for ___________.
2. Sometimes I like just watching N as (s)he ___________.
3. I know no one who can ___________ as deftly as N.
4. If I want to picture N happy, one place I see her/him is _____________________.
5. There’s no way I know as much about __________ as N does.
6. If money were no consideration, I can imagine no gift that N would enjoy more than ___________.
7. It always makes me proud to talk to others about N and about his/her ___________.
8. I know how to do a lot of things but maybe not as carefully as N when it comes to ___________.
9. No one knows what ___________ means to me as clearly as N does.
10. I remember why I like N so much when I hear him/her ___________.
I have to admit that I have not passed this plan by Marc yet. Here, though, are the statements that I came up with, their order rearranged to keep themes together:
Sometimes I like just watching Marc as he types an entry for his blog, sitting in his sweats at the computer.
There’s no one like Marc for writing with wry playfulness and multi-layered wit.
I know how to do a lot of things but maybe not as carefully as Marc when it comes to planning the menu of a dinner party or just compiling a weekly shopping list.
I know no one who can chop garlic and onions and measure a long recipe of seasonings as deftly as Marc.
There’s no way I know as much about movies, the Academy Awards and Pauline Kael as Marc does.
If I want to picture Marc happy, one place I see him is a restaurant called Celadon in the French city of Troyes in March of 2007.
If money were no consideration, I can imagine no gift that Marc would enjoy more than a year in France.
I remember why I like Marc so much when I hear him on the phone with his sister.
It always makes me proud to talk to others about Marc and about his way of staying in touch with friends, even friends he knew in high school.
No one knows what twenty-two years of Tuesday evenings means to me as clearly as Marc does.
Time will tell whether the plan my colleagues and I discussed with energy today will have the effect we envision.
We’ll certainly never tell you ourselves.
Photo of Troyes downloaded on Flickr by Dom Bastian