A Valentine’s Day Without Alzheimer’s


musicial notes and hearts

Karoke and Valentine’s Day,  remembering a fun evening without Alzheimer’s

February 15, 2013 – That’s the usual request just about anywhere on Valentine’s Day, especially if it’s early and no one thought to get reservations. It was many years ago, before Alzheimer’s was part of our life,  when Ken and I ventured out for a spontaneous dinner on that special night for sweethearts. “It’s early,” he assured me entering the restaurant not too far from home, and far from the beaten path of the more popular eating establishments. “We shouldn’t have any trouble getting a table.” Wrong! The place was already packed and it wasn’t even six o’clock. “Dinner for two? Sorry, we’re already full for the entire evening, but I can seat you in the bar if you don’t mind,” offered the maître d’. “The only difference is the table is a little small, and it may be a bit noisy.”


We both nodded to the affirmative as he led us into the bar. It wasn’t as if we were dewy eyed newlyweds. Our children were grown and gone and we were out for the evening to enjoy the tradition of cupid with his bow and quiver filled with arrows so we didn’t mind that it wasn’t a darkened corner table lit by a candle.

The bar was actually a little more interesting and much better for people-watching, tuning in on what was happening with the younger crowd. We couldn’t help but notice that many were already feeling the merriment after a few drinks. We did like to keep up with happenings in the world of our very adult children so when they visited we wouldn’t be totally out of the “loop.” At the time I had already heard a lot about the latest rage of singing along with the music of your favorite song. One of our younger friends, Rick, was in the business of producing and placing some of the best music out there for Karaoke. Yes, I believe Karaoke was the right word.


The room bustled with activity and we waited longer than planned for the server to take our order. Meanwhile, we watched two bus boys hang a banner over the bar announcing, “Karaoke every Wednesday night.” I thought to myself how interesting, and how fun that might be. Not to participate, at least not us, but we never had the pleasure – or pain – of attending a Karaoke night and I wondered if people were required to audition beforehand. Ken was also watching as the young men pushed in the last tacks, and then he leaned over to me saying, “It’s a new hors d’oeuvre. You know – kinda like guacamole.” I burst out laughing, just couldn’t help myself knowing that my husband often attempted to bluff his way through subjects he knew nothing about. Smiling with me Ken asked, “What’s so funny.” I explained about Karaoke, and he giggled because I was still laughing although he was wearing a pie-in-the-face expression following his “know it all” statement. I was just glad he and I had the sing-along conversation early. Ken would have been really mortified had he asked the waiter to bring us a large order of Karaoke. We ate our dinner glancing every so often at the Karaoke banner and I snickered all the way home. A romantic dinner out with my husband on Valentine’s Day? Not in the truest sense, but then romance doesn’t need to be scheduled. More importantly, the evening was fun and definitely memorable.


As a couple neither of us worried that the other would be offended or feel neglected if we weren’t showered with hearts, sweets and flowers, or the romantic dinner out, or in, or not. Valentine’s Day was a holiday of even more than small tokens of affection; a gentle nudge to remind each other and family of our constant, never-ending love, devotion and appreciation of one another.

When we were all younger I often made a heart-shaped cake decorated with candy messages and red hots, a simple card tucked under each plate plus red Kool-Aid (with lemon) in a glass to celebrate and to send everyone the all-important assurance that they were loved and thought of not only on February 14, but every day of the year.

Originally posted 2013-02-16 22:23:42.

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