Hattie and William were in their seventies. They had married shortly after graduating from high school. They gave each other something to show their love for each other on every holiday. They especially liked giving something on Valentine’s Day and when their state recognized “Sweetest Day.” The couple were delighted to have another day to express their love.
William liked to air his knowledge. “Hattie,” he would call, “Do you know what October is all about?” “No,” Hattie would answer, “But I s’peck you’re going to tell me.” “Well,” William continued, “September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, and October is National Disability Employment Month, National Italian Heritage Month, Polish American Month, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And, my lovely, Sweetest Day* is on Saturday, October 17th this year.”
Hattie responded as she always did. “Is that right? Aren’t I lucky that I have you to know all of this? And aren’t we lucky our state has Sweetest Day so we can get all romantic and stuff? It gives us an excuse for getting all foolish about our love for each other. Isn’t that right, my prince?” They looked at each other and laughed.
William began to sing.
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away
The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
When I awoke, dear…”**
Hattie cut him off with, “That’s enough, William. You know you can’t carry a tune. And even though I love you, it does not make your singing okay.”
With that, Hattie walked over to William and kissed him on his forehead. “You are still my prince,” she said, ” Maybe your gifts for me on Sweetest Day will make me sweeter and trick me into thinking your singing is a whole lot better than it really is.”
She sat down next to William, leaned against him and asked, “What’s on TV?” William’s response was “There is election coverage on every channel reminding us to vote early or vote on November 3.”
*Sweetest Day, observed on the third Sat. in October. The holiday originated in Cleveland in 1922 and is primarily celebrated in the states of Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio.
** You Are My Sunshine, written in 1937 or 1939, attributed to Jimmie Davis, sung by Gene Autry et al.