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FRONT-PORCH GOSPEL: Men can come off as awfully “cheap” on Valentine’s Day

Welcome to the “front porch.”

After almost a quarter of a century of sending words to the newspaper, the following Valentines' piece is one I’ll never forget. Read on ...

On that day I witnessed one of the most amazing scenes my eyes have e’er beheld, and – as is my calling – I reported the pitiful news right here in the very same spot in which you are reading. I’ve been pretty much a “love doctor” ever since. It’s a hard job, mind you, but I am glad to do it.

The setting: right in the middle of the candy aisle at the store, on Valentine’s evening. 

We do not tell this story to gloat. No, not at all. We write to give all of you men out there hope. You all would never sink as low as the boys in this story. For that, you can be thankful, as can that particular lovely valentine you call your own.

I have to tell you, the sight that evening was one of the most pitiful sights I’ve ever seen. It was enough to make you ashamed of the whole human race. I happened to be browsing around the local store that evening, February 14th, looking for a few items I needed. Suddenly I heard some commotion over in the next aisle and hurried over to see what the trouble was and to see if I could be of assistance.

That’s when I witnessed it – half a dozen fellas wrestling feverishly in the middle of the aisle. They were scratching, clawing, kicking, and biting, and each one was clinging with one hand to the last box of Valentine’s candy in the whole store. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Grown men, shirttails hanging out, sweat running down their faces, battling to the end to gain possession of that final box of candy.

My disgust was too great for me to stand by silently. I hollered, “STOP IT!” and stomped my foot for added effect. Surprisingly, they all stopped and looked at me, perhaps more stunned than anything. They froze, each one still clinging to the candy.

I walked up to them. “You ought to be ashamed of yourselves,” I said. “To think that grown men like yourselves have lowered yourselves to fightin’ over a meager box of Valentine's candy.”

I shook my head in disbelief, then added, ”And do you know why you’re doin’ this?”

They all mumbled something inaudibly. 

“I’m goin’ to tell you why!” I said.  “Because you’re too lowdown and sorry to go to the store before the last minute on Valentine’s Day to buy your wife the nice gift she deserves!  My, you’re a pitiful sight, the whole bunch of you. After all your wives have done for you: washin’ your clothes, cookin’ your meals, cleanin’ your house, even bearin’ your children through pain and agony – and you don't have enough respect for her to give just a little forethought into buyin’ her a gift on a day that's more important to her than any other day of the year!”

I paused to let it sink in, then continued: “Gentlemen,” I said, “This is the day when you have a chance to really show her how much you love her, and all you have failed miserably.  All of you!”

I noticed as I looked at them that each seemed to have a slight tear emerging in the corner of his eye.  But I had no sympathy.

“Don’t start getting’ sentimental now,” I said. “It’s too late for that.  You should have gotten sentimental a few days ago. I just feel sorry for your wives for being married to such a lowdown, sorry lot as you. I know they deserve better. I know they do.”

I paused again, looked at them eye to eye, but they all lowered their heads in shame.  Finally, I said, “Aw, give me that box of candy and get out of here. I can’t stand to look at you anymore.”

They released the candy in shame, handed it over to me, and began to walk away one by one, their heads still down.  I hollered behind them, just to throw sand in their wounds.

“And put your shirttails in. You don’t have to look pitiful just because you are pitiful!”

So, I found myself standing there in the middle of that aisle with a torn box of Valentine’s candy in my hand.  All I could do was shake my head in disgust at that lot of men I had just faced.  Finally, in an attempt to escape the scene of the crime as quickly as possible, I walked over to the young lady who worked the register and handed her the torn box of candy.

“Listen,” I whispered, glancing around, “since this candy is torn and all, do you think you could, uh, wrap it for me free?”

Coach Steven Bowen, a long-time Red Oak teacher and coach, now enjoys his time as a full-time writer and preacher of the gospel. In addition to his evangelistic travels, he works and writes for the Church of Christ of Red Oak at Uhl Road and Ovilla. Their worship times are 10 a.m. Sundays and 7:30 pm. Wednesdays. Email or call or text 972-824-5197.

Ellis County Press

208 S Central St. 
Ferris, TX 75125