Valentine’s Day 2022: Cards, candy and a cadaver

Feb 17, 2022 | 14 comments |

Heading towards our twenty-sixth wedding anniversary, these days Tech Guy and I don’t usually make a fuss over Valentine’s Day.

While we celebrate our love, we don’t typically do so on February 14 when restaurants are busy, flowers over-priced and there’s unspoken pressure to live up to a kind of romance that doesn’t fit with who we are as a couple.

This year, though, and with English Rose at university, we were looking forward to our first Valentine’s Day as empty nesters. We’d planned a special takeout meal, movie and cozy evening together.

Best-laid plans…

Since Tech Guy works with colleagues in Asia, he often has business meetings outside the standard nine-to-five.

Last week, though, someone had the not-so-bright idea to schedule a conference call for Valentine’s Day evening in North America.

Although Tech Guy, to his credit, got the time of the call changed, it was by then too late to order our special meal from a restaurant forty-five minutes away.

Still, we persevered. What we ate wasn’t important. All that mattered was couple time.

Cards and candy

We exchanged Valentine cards and shared chocolates. After picking up a replacement meal, we watched a Netflix show while deciding on a movie.

All was going according to the revised plan until the phone rang.

The cadaver

It was English Rose. And she was in a panic. With an anatomy practical exam several days hence, she’d lost access to her “virtual cadaver.”

Owing to the pandemic, her university cancelled in-person laboratory studies so a “virtual cadaver” was on this year’s list of school supplies.

Without going into details, cadaver access was restored and English Rose was no longer on the metaphorical academic ledge—not helped by there also being a flood in her university residence meaning she hadn’t had running water all day.

Finally time for romance?

By then, it was too late to watch a movie so I went upstairs to get ready for bed.

Tech Guy promised he’d follow soon.

He did but Floppy Ears got there first.

When Tech Guy was also ready to get into bed, his side was already occupied by thirty-four pounds of determined hound.

When he tried to move Floppy Ears aside, our usually placid dog made her feelings known with a low, “don’t mess with me” growl.

Love is….

There are times when laughter is the only option and that was one of them.

While our Valentine’s Day didn’t turn out as planned, lasting love is about more than one day.

Rather, and in all seasons, love is laughter, family, dogs and even a cadaver!

Coincidentally, the women’s fiction book I’m currently writing is about marriage and life after the happily ever after.

It won’t, however, feature a cadaver, real or virtual, because sometimes, life is stranger than anything I invent in fiction.


  1. Danielle Hammelef

    Thank you for sharing your day. My husband came home exhausted after work, but he brought home my favorite sushi from our local Japanese market on Valentine’s Day. That was an awesome surprise when I arrived home from my exercise class. We don’t celebrate the day because of similar reasons you have and especially now, we always get take out and no longer eat in restaurants. Perhaps by summer this will change.

    • Jen Gilroy

      I’m glad you had a fun Valentine’s Day surprise, Danielle. We’re not eating in restaurants at present either. Like you, I’m hoping we’ll be able to do so this summer. There are also patio dining options during the warmer weather too.

  2. Anne Kinch

    I laughed when I read about the lost “cadaver”.That’s hilarious!!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Anne. Glad you enjoyed my blog post. I suspect we all need laughter at present!

  3. Beth

    I have to admit you had me at “cadaver”, being a mystery devotee, but your Valentine’s debacle had me in stitches. We ended up “celebrating” in our usual understated style the next day because of a similar situation. And you’re right, life IS stranger than anything.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Beth. I’m glad I was able to give you a laugh. Good to hear you had the kind of Valentine’s Day celebration that is most meaningful for you.

  4. Rosey Lee

    Great post! 🙂 I always enjoyed them, but I immediately had to know about this cadaver business. Great lead!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Rosey. Glad you enjoyed my “cadaver” post. I’m not good at headline writing and Tech Guy helped me with that one!

  5. Deb

    HA! Jen – loved this blog. Having spent many years as a waitress, I avoid Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and New Year’s Eve in restaurants. And truthfully, I’d much rather have flowers, a meal out, or chocolates given to me on any other day, as it means it was given freely. Of course, buying chocolates or anything else together it THE BEST! On another note – So glad the cadaver was recovered.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Deb. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. My feelings about Valentine’s Day seem to have struck a chord with a lot of people. I appreciate your good wishes about the “cadaver recovery” too! Not something I ever anticipated being a “thing” but it goes along with everything else that has been unusual about the last two years.

  6. Betty Jo Arnold

    Hilarious reading. Lol. So funny. We are about to celebrate 49 years on the 23rd. Love is what you make it. We still make it fun.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Betty Jo. I’m glad you enjoyed my blog post. Congratulations and best wishes on your upcoming wedding anniversary. What a special milestone. It’s good to hear that love is still fun for you.

  7. Deb Buxton

    This was too funny! What a day! You pulled me right in with the FB post about a cadaver. Love & laughter help make these moments and marriage all that more sweet.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Deb. “What a day” indeed! I’m glad you enjoyed my post and yes, “love & laughter” are such an important part of life, as well as marriage.


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