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Valentine Flowers for Every Girl

Hayden Godfrey is a man after my own heart.

"Hayden Godfrey, a 17-year-old student at Sky View High School in Smithfield, Utah, passed out carnations to every girl at school—all 834 of them!—on Thursday."

I love women. I don't mean in that sickly sentimental way the bleeding hearts mean when they say they love everybody. I mean the way a man loves a woman, and I have ever since I discovered that girls are the most delightful creatures on the planet, sometime in the second grade. I love them all, and regardless of their age, I regard them all as girls.

I guess that makes me a philogonist, as opposed to a mysogonist, but I believe all men, before they let something spoil them, are naturally philogonists. I like the way Oliver Wendell Holmes put it (including the quaint language):

"The divinity-student wished to know what I thought of affinities, as well as of antipathies; did I believe in love at first sight?

"Sir,--said I,--all men love all women. That is the prima-facie aspect of the case. The Court of Nature assumes the law to be, that all men do so; and the individual man is bound to show cause why he does not love any particular woman. A man, says one of my old black-letter law-books, may show divers good reasons, as thus: He hath not seen the person named in the indictment; she is of tender age, or the reverse of that; she hath certain personal disqualifications,... or, his capacity of loving being limited, his affections are engrossed by a previous comer; and so of other conditions. Not the less is it true that he is bound by duty and inclined by nature to love each and every woman. Therefore it is that each woman virtually summons every man to show cause why he doth not love her." [Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, Chapter 9, (1858)]

If every man loves every woman how does one choose one to be his one and only? The case is the opposite. If a man does not love women in general, he'll never love one in particular. It is because they are all lovable, each in their own way, that a man can discover that one that has exactly what he loves most. The love of a man's life is the special case of a generality, when a man chooses a particular woman to be his wife it is a choice from all that he loves of the one that he wishes to share his entire life with, because she is the joy and prize of his life.

Though known as a curmudgeon, H.L. Mencken held a special place in his heart for women too. He once suggested this epitaph for himself:

"If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl."

I've tried to honor Mencken's request, but with difficulty, because I've never seen a woman, no matter how plain, that I did not see a beautiful girl in. But I found a solution, I wink at them all.

So here's a wink, some flowers, and my love girls. Happy valentine's day, Darlin'—especially to my one and only.

—(02/14/16)