My gift isn’t flowers and candy

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 15, 2009

As all guys, or at least guys with significant others know, yesterday was the big day.

Yep, it was the national holiday of relationships, Valentine’s Day.

Having done the Valentine’s Day thing for several years now, I’ve kind of run out of ideas of what to give Jennifer, my wife of four years.

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The fact that I can be cheap also complicates matters. But this year I thought of a great gift to give her. It’s something I think she’ll like, and it doesn’t cost much.

This column.

I’ve always been a big sports fan, which is the reason I got into this business. I just needed someone to complement my sports fanaticism, which can be quite hard to do.

Much like my father, I have a general negative attitude about my favorite team, meaning I always think they are going to lose.

Being a Mississippi State graduate doesn’t help that state of mind either. Knowing this, watching a sporting event with me can be a trying experience.

Pacing, shouting, kicking walls and exuberant jumps into ceiling fans all can accompany Jeff’s game experience.

For some reason, that just doesn’t seem to attract females.

But, as Sheriff Andy Taylor said after watching Ernest T. Bass find a mate on The Andy Griffith Show, there is someone for everyone.

And my someone is Jennifer.

How perfect a partner is she for me? Our first conversation after meeting was about the Atlanta Braves and the sorry play of then-Braves catcher Javy Lopez.

Our first real date was to a Mississippi State baseball game, where we sat in 40-degree weather to watch the Bulldogs play Middle Tennessee.

When we were in school, we would go to as many SEC weekend baseball series as we could, even after the birth of our first child, Payton.

Payton saw her first MSU baseball game when she was two weeks old, and I think the Bulldogs won.

After graduation, new jobs and a couple more kids, Jennifer’s interests have diversified while mine have stayed the same.

While I would like to watch Gonzaga and Portland State play on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. Thursday night, Jennifer would rather watch Jon and Kate Plus Eight on TLC.

That’s what kids do to you.

I tease her sometimes about not being as big a sports fan as she used to be, but I don’t really think it’s true.

She has taught me a valuable lesson that everyone should learn as they go through life.

The world is more than just a sporting event. If I miss that West Coast Conference basketball action so she can watch eight kids run amok while their mother screams at them in the background, that’s fine.

You see, she really is the perfect match for me.

Not only could she put up with, and even match, my sports passion in the beginning of our relationship, she is trying to get me to branch out and mature as I grow older.

So happy Valentine’s Day Jennifer, and I hope you liked your present.

You better, because you aren’t going to be able to return it.