New Open Thread: Valentine’s Day

Despite my late husband’s insistence that Valentine’s Day was a “made up holiday,” (to which I replied, “So is Thanksgiving but you still take the day off”), he was smart – and kind – enough to make the gesture.  He gave me gifts I still use to this day, with fond remembrance. A website, a personal domain, a database program he wrote specifically for me.  These were his gifts, given from his heart using his own gifts as a programmer.

He was more than that – he was a skilled craftsman who liked carpentry.  I still have the makeup box he made for me, of bird’s eye maple with a mirror in the lid. I cherish it and all the memories we shared, especially all the private jokes we shared in our own special language:  “It’s like the broken window” for a narrow escape, or “Dance for Grandma” when either of us were asked for a ‘command performance’ of some skill.  (Read more about our language here).

The language of love has, I’ve since learned, many voices even though they speak to just two people – the ‘in’ jokes, the references to past events or memories.  It doesn’t have to be a love relationship either – a good friend of mine and I first bonded when we sang the theme song to “Magilla Gorilla” together.

But how about you?  What are the words, phrases or references that signal private jokes or memories with the special people in your lives? Share the story, and tell us in the comments!

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at

Articles, Open Thread, relationships

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