A Belated Valentines Day Surprise… Or Not

by Patrick Bresnahan

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when we show our significant others how much we love them by showering them with adulations and gifts, and treat them to a romantic evening.  Or, more realistically, it’s the time of year in which you realize you have no idea what to get your partner and you wait until the last minute before presenting them with a lackluster gift that is sure to disappoint.  

Unfortunately for my girlfriend Nicolette, I am very much the latter type of person.  I have always been a procrastinator. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of gifts Nicolette has received from me over the years have had a card with the word belated attached to it.  Luckily, joining Grain Designs has made gift giving a little bit easier.  Usually I figure that if I can’t think of something to buy her, I can always just build her something, or at the very least grab an item from around the shop that we haven’t sold and tell her I built it for her.  

This theory has definitely helped me in the gift idea department, but it hasn’t changed my affinity for procrastination.  While procrastination is usually viewed as being a bad thing, it can sometimes be beneficial.   For instance, several weeks ago I had promised Nicolette I would build her a table for her to put her keys and purse on when she gets home.  But given my natural tardiness, the building process was pushed back several weeks and I was able to present the table as a Valentines Day present. This allowed me to kill two birds with one stone and simultaneously avoid being killed by Nicolette, possibly with multiple stones.

Knowing that Valentines Day was coming up on Tuesday and also knowing that it would take me three days to finish the table, I decided the best day to start my project was probably Monday.   Starting on Monday would ensure that I could have the table completed by Wednesday….. and I was certain I could find a way to convince Nicolette that we should push our Valentine’s Day celebration to Wednesday night.  This all seemed far easier than actually starting the project at an appropriate time.

Now that my plan was in place, I started the build.  I found some unique cost effective material we had in the shop, cut it to size, skip planed it, and glued it up.  After the glue was allowed to dry for a day, I sanded it, began the assembly process, added the shelf, and finished the table with a polyurethane spray on coat.  

Right on schedule, well, my altered Valentines day schedule, my gift was complete and was ready for presentation.  I delivered the table, got it set in place and Nicolette was quick to add her keys, purse, a couple decor accessories, and valentines day flowers to make the new entry table part of our home.  Yes, I did in fact buy her flowers as well.  Although, not a seasoned romantic, I understand flowers on Valentines day is a must, even if they’re a day late.  A couple photos below illustrate the table in its finished state and then some more enticing shots with a woman’s touch.


Even though I was fairly sure that Nicolette had been conditioned enough over the years to be accepting of a Valentine’s gift that should have been gifted long before a holiday, I figured I should have a backup plan in place.  So I decided I would give her something that I knew she would love, a homemade meal of wine, beef tenderloin, snow crab, roasted mashed potatoes, and asparagus. And the cherry on top of the sundae was of course my company which always comes full of captivating conversation.

All in all, Valentines Day went pretty well, so until next year when I remember on February 13th that Valentines Day is an annual occurrence.