"Huh?" Steve had just asked me that question over the phone, completely out of the blue.
"Do you want books or flowers?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Your Valentine's Day/Anniversary present."
Oh. Yeah, of course. Mine to him was already on its way. Very romantic: a rain gauge. Of course, not just any rain gauge. This was a glass tube being supported by a fat green frog. Still not romantic? Would it help, knowing Steve's favorite pastime, that the frog held a fishing pole with a fish on the end? It actually has rained a few times since Steve's been down in Arizona, and he's had no idea of just how much, or whether he still needs to water the two big pines in the yard. So, a rain gauge.
As for me, I'm nuts about flowers. Can never get enough. Hate taking bouquets to people on Valentines day or birthdays or anniversaries because it's never me on the receiving end. Never got flowers from Paul after the year the vase got set on top of the TV and didn't quite stay there. After that, Paul's idea of a romantic present was a blender, so I could make our own baby food.
So of course my answer was...
Surprised even me. But the budget has been going other places than into the library lately, and I knew we were behind on several authors, including one who has already died. The books would last much longer, and we could both enjoy them. I used the Amazon.com gift certificate for 5 books. Can't tell you what they were without going back and checking the order, but I do know the authors: Dana Stabenow, J A Jance, and James Doss. All mysteries. Hours of pleasure, to repeat years from now.
Of course, ask me next year, and the answer might very well be flowers. Or both.
Or something completely different.