Valentine's Day is a wonderful holiday. It is the one day (probably shouldn't be the only one, though) in which we step back and take a moment to appreciate our significant others and the important role they play in our lives.
I open with that for the benefit of any women reading this. Ladies, just so you know: Most of us really don't just think of it as "Pink Puck Night."
And gentlemen, if that is actually on your gift list for today, I will suggest right now: It is better to go to dinner with her empty-handed, rather than with one of those pink pucks.
Yes, instead of spitting my usual venomous humor on MartiniHockey.net today, I'm thinking more along the lines of a tribute of sorts to all the actual and self-proclaimed Hockey Widows, and try to atone for our sins as puckheads.
And though I have said before that Mrs. Martini is not necessarily the oppressed Hockey Widow she would have you believe... I, too, have not been without sin.
I mentioned last week that our first NHL game was in 2000. October 18, a date immortalized in dating history. The Jackets’ seventh-ever game, our first NHL game...
...and, by some misguided notion on my part, Mrs. Martini’s birthday present.
I still vaguely remember the e-mail conversation a few weeks prior:
Me: "Guess where we are going your birthday... I have acquired two tickets to the Colorado Avalanche versus the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 18! Isn't that great?"
Her: "That's awesome!"
Anyone will tell you, you can't necessarily read a person's tone when they're typing what they're saying. Of course, in my youth, I was not considering this minor detail. I was just thinking, "Woohoo! Bitchen! We're going for first NHL game together!"
Worse yet, I’m wearing the CBJ sweater she bought me for my birthday, and she’s wearing one of my Avs sweaters, subjecting her to rookie fans who were still developing their hockey manners.
So... this was a good example (actually, two or three rolled into one) of where I was clearly in the wrong.
Somehow, inexplicably, she is still with me all these years.
Honestly, if there is any real advantage for our significant others in relation to our rabid hockey fandom, it's the fact that we're pretty easy to shop for. Sadly, we're not cheap to shop for... hockey swag is pretty freakin' pricy.
So, on that note, I would like to take a moment to wish Mrs. Martini a Happy Valentine's Day, and a special thank you for not killing me up to this point.
And for all the Hockey Widows and Widowers (I assume there are a few jilted guys out there), I think I can speak for all of us fans in saying Happy Valentine's Day, we love you, and we promise not to drag you to an NHL game tonight.
Well, at least I can say that in Columbus... since we don't have a game tonight.
For those in other markets who do have games tonight: Might want to open with roses when you pick her up, boys.
Happy Pink Puck Night.
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