February 14th. A day that love is celebrated all over the country. But for me, personally, Valentine’s Day is a day of remembering the day when I lost the love of my life.
It was three years ago in Vincennes, Indiana. My wife and I had been married for a little over one year, and we went to dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day. After dinner, she remembered that our dog, Bandit, needed some food. We went to a “farm superstore” called Rural King (The sign out front actually reads Rural King.com, so I guess that makes this place the world’s only brick and mortar dot com).
If you’re not familiar with Rural King, it’s a store that specializes in, you guessed it, products for people who live in rural America. And if you’re not familiar with Vincennes, Indiana, it is smack dab in the middle of rural America. It’s the perfect place, really, to spend a romantic Valentine’s evening.
Any Rural King that I have ever been to serves up free popcorn and coffee. Popcorn is like crack to me. Any time I go to the movies I tell myself that I’m not spending $20 on 50 cents worth of popcorn. But as soon as I walk into the theater, the smell reaches out and slaps me in the face. That’s all it takes; I’m instantly reaching for my wallet. So you can imagine, If I’m willing to shell out 20 bucks for popcorn, I sure as heck ain’t passing up FREE POPCORN! So while my wife was making her way to the pet food aisles, I decided to stop and get a bag.
After getting my popcorn, I went to catch up with my wife. I went to the pet food aisle; no sign of her. I went to the aisles on both sides of the pet food aisle, but I couldn’t find her. Like I said, we are in the middle of rural America, so It shouldn’t be that difficult to locate the only black woman that Rural King has seen in the calendar year!
I searched and searched for her. I was failing miserably at what was the easiest game of “Where’s Waldo?” that had ever been drawn. I had lost my love amongst Dickies overalls, baby chicks, a small crowd of white people, and those maple nut candy thingys. I kept looking for what seemed to be an hour (probably just 5 minutes). I looked all over the store…twice. I even stopped and got another bag of popcorn. Then, I finally found my love…
…in the pet food aisle.
When I asked her where she had been, she replied: “I’ve been right here.”
Of course she had.