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Valentine’s Day – the Holiday of Romance

 February 10, 2020

(Guest Post by Brad Flory)

Romance is not a thing of constant beauty for some women. Take my wife, for one beleaguered example.

Over fifteen years of writing newspaper columns, I have steadily revealed some of the more absurd details of our romance without seeking her permission.


I revealed that on our wedding night I took her to Taco Bell on West Avenue in Jackson. I revealed that she didn’t remember me the first time I called to ask for a date, but pity compelled her to agree. Consistently I reveal new ways she battles my shortcomings as a life partner of the sort inclined to wear bungee cords for suspenders.

All those revelations are true, but it’s not stuff a girl necessarily wants to tell the world. People might think she is not choosy about mating.

Never, to my memory, have I mentioned her name in the newspaper. Going nameless is my effort to give her a shred of privacy in her professional life, but it evidently also gives her some aura of mystery.

Over and over, the same thing happens when we meet people in Jackson familiar with my writings.

Meet my Wife

“The person I really want to meet is your wife!” they say, turning to her. “How do you put up with him, you poor thing?” When she’s not with me, new acquaintances frequently express disappointment. “She must be quite a woman, considering what you put her through,” they say.

Occasionally she has been called “the lovely yet formidable Marcia” by people who confuse me with Andrew Heller of the Flint Journal. I take that as a compliment to my wife. Heller and she both originate from the same snow-covered county in the Upper Peninsula, and he’d certainly be an upgrade if Marcia weren’t standing formidably in the way.

Most alarming are rare times when people convey their impression that I make fun of my wife in print. A man cannot stay married for twenty nine years if he is that stupid. I try to accurately portray myself as the goofball in our relationship, and accurately portray her as the smart one.

Valentine’s Day – the Holiday of Romance

Valentine’s Day, the holiday of romance, is a fitting time to penetrate the aura of mystery by allowing her to answer the question put to her so often.

How do you put up with him, you poor thing?

“He’s generally a delightful person,” she says when asked. “Not always, of course.”

Speaking for myself, yes, she is quite a woman. To puncture any remaining mystery, her name is Candace Wilson and I love her even when she forbids me to wear bungee cords. If that’s not a mostly beautiful romance, I don’t know what is.


Happy Valentine’s Day to Lovers Everywhere!!!

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This reflection is taken from the book, Marriage Moments II:  Michigan Edition, by Patricia M. Robertson, Kenneth Wyatt and Brad Flory. If you have a Marriage Moment you would like to share, please email me at I look forward to hearing from you. Also, be sure not to miss a Marriage Moment. Sign up to follow this blog.

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