I was getting up yesterday when I noticed the date and nipped down to interrupt my husband, already at the breakfast table, with a kiss and a Valentine wish. He glanced up from his newspaper and reciprocated. That was Valentine done for another year.
The day before I had mentioned to my husband that I needed a tennis ball (bear with me) to put in the drying machine to try to restore our towels to a semblance of fluffiness. This may turn out to be another internet myth – we shall see.
Around midday, he appeared in the garden (I was battling with the roots of a pot-bound rhododendron) and offered me this.
In 1978 we were expecting our first child. Parenting classes for fathers included the information that during childbirth your wife might suffer from something called ‘back labour’. This could be rather ‘uncomfortable’ but the appropriate (? don’t ask me) use of a tennis ball might help relieve the pain. He had purchased this ball and packed it, along with many other recommended comforts, for the expected long haul. In the event there was no time to use any of these aids and our first-born arrived without need of a tennis ball or much else – but here, preserved all these years, is the very one.
I call that a Valentine present.
Edit for Andrew… two years later.
OK, even if I declare myself the Valentine Scrooge, I find this most touching! And how remarkable that he would remember the tennis ball after all this time….and be able to locate it. What a guy, Hilary!!
I was astonished on all those counts too. There must have been a hundred other tennis balls in and around the house since that date, but he knew where to find this one!
Ahh. We, too, don’t do valentines, but this is a lovely story.
It was a very happy moment for us (and we laughed about the Valentine connection).
Seldom is the overused word “amazing” justified but this – THIS – is amazing.
You can imagine my face, 1978 certainly seems a long way off now.
I love this story and well relate to it. I don’t remember if we had a tennis ball but I had the back labor. My husband used his fists and when he wore those out he resorted to pop cans. One of our sons was also born in 1978. We went to Lamaze childbirth classes with all three, although, by the third we could’ve taught.
Great story and perfect Valentine present.
How wonderful Rochelle, clearly 1978 was a good year. I have to admire anyone who lived through hours of childbirth, as I clearly had a relatively easy time. I had two girls and with the second one we arrived at the hospital and I was taken straight to the delivery room. I had forgotten the word Lamaze until you reminded me today (my memory being several magnitudes smaller than my husband’s). Yes, a very happy memory, thank you for sharing yours.
A case of love all? I am amazed that anybody would think of playing tennis whilst in labour. Or worse still, think of labour whilst playing tennis. It looks in mint condition. For your memory, the winners in 1978 were Borg (yawn), Navratilova (yawn) beating Connors and Evert respectively. The losers may have had their minds on other things. Bob Hewitt and Frew McMillan were mens doubles winners and the forgotten (at least by me) pair of Wendy (Rabbit) Turnbull and Kerry Melville won the Ladies title. Frew won the mixed doubles with the lumbering, towering figure of Betty Stove. I expect they played with wooden rackets (except Connors). It does not seem all that long ago to be honest. I was at university (with no children expected).
Okay, Okay, your feat of memory beats ours, though you’re a youngster yet. I seem to remember playing cricket shortly before our eldest was born… You’ve just reminded me of something… see edit.
I wonder if outdoor chess would at all have been helpful during the back labour. I imagine an en passant move could have had dire consequences. I never went to parenting classes and by 1978 my parenting days were over anyway! Dr Barabara Simcock had ‘performed’ the vasectomy on me in 1972 at the Family Health centre in Sydney.
What a nice thing for your husband to have remembered and kept that very same tennis ball.
I am practically cross-eyed trying to imagine your chess move in connection with my memory of events that night. A barbarian for a vasectomy? ouch! My husband continues to amaze me.
Who said romance was dead? Like Barbara, I too am very cynical about Valentine’s Day — but I do like a nice real-life romantic story 🙂
It was sort of funny/romantic, but yes, also moving.
Hilary, this is the best Valentine’s story I’ve heard. I wonder if the tennis ball helped restore your towels to fluffiness?
Thanks, we have yet to see. The towels have got a lot of ground to recover and I don’t use the drying cycle on heat, only cool (thinking of the environment). I let you know.
I wouldn’t get away with not doing Valentines Day in this household, Hillary. 🙂 I even had to watch a romantic movie last night: Notting Hill. And I had to replenish the chocolate. I think the tennis ball story is quite romantic. It was even an ‘official ball.’ What more can you ask for? –Curt
It’s the old English version of romantic. I also like the way it is LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) official ball, an interesting choice given the purpose.
Curt, you are raising the curb for husbands… But then again, I’m not married so raise the curb all you want! Lol
Ah, but I have heard of a girlfriend or two. 🙂
Frankly, I think that should rank as the best Valentine ever!
I agree, it was certainly my best Valentine.
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
I loved this – What was the most unusual Valentine gift did you receive this year….thanks Hilary Custance Green…lovely story.
Thank you, Sally. Good timing, I was reading through my defining moments answers!
What a lovely story.
Yes, it was wonderfully out of the blue.
Now that’s a ‘keeper’ you have there!!!
Indeed. I know I am lucky.
I find this a moving story. Have to give the husband ‘E’ for effort. I think this is a wonderful gesture. ❤
He wins a lot of prizes as a husband.
❤ ❤ ❤
A real love story for Valentine’s Day. But you left us hanging – did it fluff the towels? Kudos to your thoughtful husband!
Aah… the results are still pending (they need a lot off refluffing).
This is a sweet Valentine’s story and your hubby deserves a hug for it for sure!
Good advice, I will continue to give him plenty of hugs.
That’s what I felt, too.