Several days a year, I expect Spouser to step up to the plate and give me a few hours of his undivided attention. Saint Valentine’s Day and our wedding anniversary tie at the top of the list.

Two weeks in advance, I made reservations at Sweet Temptations, one of our favorite restaurants, for their special prime rib dinner for two. And, as always, I hid a heart-shaped box of candy, greeting card and “special surprises” in undisclosed places that even our dog Cheech couldn’t dig up.

As the infamous day drew nearer, I informed Spouser specifically which music CD I hoped to get. I waved a 15 percent-off coupon in his face and then taped it to the dashboard of his truck so he wouldn’t forget.

Fast forward: It’s mid-morning Valentine’s Day, and Spouser wails in much the same way a child does when he doesn’t get what he wants at the candy store. Knees slightly bent, body bouncing up and down, he complains, “I haven’t done a-n-y-thing yet.”

After more than two decades with this man, I’ve learned that hitting the bull’s eye is the only way to get my point across. So after his animation ends, I look him straight in the eyes and warn, “You had better at least fold a piece of paper in half, cut it into something that resembles a heart and write a few nice words on it, or I’ll be VERY hurt.”

Spouser grabs his keys and heads off to who-knows-where while I’m consumed by the anticipation of our dinner date and the new outfit I’m planning to wear.

I ask no questions when he’s gone half the day and arrives two hours before takeoff time. Spouser walks through the door holding a bouquet of long-stemmed roses, a card, and my requested CD. The smile on my face is no doubt comparable to that of “smiling Bob,” the happy man featured in the Enzyte male enhancement commercial.

“But what’s that?” I ask, pointing to what looks like a shoe box.

“Oh, I bought a little something for myself,” Spouser chirps, disappearing into his home office.

Probably a book or music CD, I imagine and then quarantine myself in the bathroom for the big transformation. I begin with a relaxing bubble bath. The tub already filled, the room seems oddly clear, not steamy and hot as usual. I realize when I put my foot into the water that something’s very wrong with our water heater. It has burned out, and the bath water is about the temperature of the Rio Grande in February. I quickly learn that running a razorblade over goose-pimpled flesh is about as bloody and painful as waxing legs with duct tape (yes, I’ve tried it).

“Nothing’s going to ruin this evening!” I proclaim in a whimper, fist raised to the ceiling like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind.

Stay tuned for part two of “Jezebel” next week. While you wait, post your comments regarding this column or your mother-in-law at http://www.valleytowncrier.com Columns can be found by typing Gina Tiano in the search bar or by clicking the “opinion tab.” Ciao!