Valentine anxiety

Farm Forum

That peculiar holiday is fast approaching wherein we guys must express our deepest, most innermost feelings in the gushiest way possible to our Significant Others.

This has to be done on a strictly voluntary basis, although it must be noted that there are severe penalties for noncompliance. Opinions vary as to what, exactly, the punishment for ignoring Valentine’s Day should be. In some jurisdictions the death penalty has not been ruled out.

Expressing deep emotional feelings is difficult for many men of the male species.

There are some activities that come naturally for most guys. This includes such things as hawking up loogies, distributing noogies, and giving wedgies. Sadly, these talents tend to be of little use when it comes to communicating with human females.

As such, when guys want to convey deep personal feelings we must rely on either the greeting card or the music industry. Some of the music from back in the day was superb for expressing deep emotions, such as “Hooked On A Feeling” by Blue Swede which includes the lyrics, “Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga!”

If hearing those words don’t melt a girl’s heart, nothing will!

Not only do boys lack natural instincts in the field of expressing deep personal emotions, we receive zero training regarding this topic. It’s like walking into a room that you think will be Freshman Algebra but is actually the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice: “Explain your position vis-à-vis export quotient derivatives as they affect quantum fluctuations in the ipso facto flux capacitor marketplace!”

You: “Umm… Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga!”

This is pretty much how things go when guys first attempt to talk to girls. It’s not so much that we’re from different planets as we’re from entirely different galaxies located in different dimensions. This makes it difficult to communicate. It’s even more challenging when you’re someone who, like me, is slow on the uptake.

As with most little boys, I didn’t have much use for girls. Yes, they were fun snowball targets, but not much else. This all changed when we began junior high school.

Girls suddenly became the most fascinating creatures on the planet. I think this is because many of our female classmates had abruptly begun to have figures. We boys couldn’t figure out how this happened, but not for a lack of trying. That particular topic was all we could talk about.

We wanted to learn more about the girls, but that proved extremely problematic as doing so might involve actually talking to them. The girls didn’t make it any easier for us, gathering into impenetrable knots of three or four, whispering to each other, their murmurs punctuated by sporadic bouts of secretive giggling. It would have been far easier for a guy to break into Fort Knox.

The girls eventually broke the communication stalemate by dispatching an envoy to us boys with a note which said that a certain girl liked a certain boy. Did he like her? Two small checkboxes had been drawn with “yes” beside one and “no” by the other.

The recipient of the note was shaken to his core. What did this mean? Marriage, kids, a mortgage? Would he also be required to kiss her? The horrors!

While the note’s receiver grappled with these questions, the rest of us assaulted him with a storm of teasing that made heavy use of the words “sitting in a tree.”

Flash forward a few years. We boys had evolved from awkward, bumbling adolescents into awkward, bumbling teenagers. Girls were still an unfathomable mystery. They had also somehow managed to become even more interesting.

The summer when I was 15, a neighborhood farmer called to ask if I could help him stack some hay bales. He mentioned a wage of $1.75 per hour.

I quickly accepted, not telling the neighbor that I did such things at home for nothing. If he wanted to throw his money away for something that could be had for free, that was his business!

A few months later I went on my first actual date with an actual girl. Several things stand out in my memory regarding that evening.

Filling my car with gas cost $1.75. Movie tickets were $1.75 apiece and the pizza afterwards cost $1.75.

Later that evening we sat alone my car, she on one side, me on the other. It was very quiet, mainly because I didn’t know what to say nor how to say it.

She at length remarked, “It looks like something’s bothering you. What are you thinking?”

“It just occurred to me that this night has cost me four hours of stacking bales.”

Things probably would have gone much better if I had simply replied, “Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga!”

If you’d like to contact Jerry to do some public speaking, or just to register your comments, you can e-mail him at: