It’s slowly dawned on my that over the years, my love affair with the Mac has evolved into more of a lovers’ triangle.

My wife—wonderful woman that she is—has never really embraced our computer the way I hoped she would. And certainly nowhere near the way I have.

When the World Wide Web was first gaining public enthusiasm, I told her about a site where you could actually see a live picture of a cappuccino machine in Australia. I could scarcely imagine what could be cooler, and could barely contain my excitement. I rushed to tell her all about it. Her response? “If I want to see a cappuccino machine, why wouldn’t I just walk into our kitchen and see a real one?”

She had a point.

My efforts to get her to do our finances on the Mac met with similar resistance. She uttered something about not wanting to do the work twice: entering the information once on the computer and once “for real” into our checkbook was not her idea of increasing productivity.

Again, she had a point.

To be entirely fair, I haven’t given her a whole lot of time to use the family Mac. Between personal projects, work, and freelance commitments, I tend to monopolize most of the available computer time in our house.

And when she does get the opportunity to use it, I usually wind up hovering over her like a nervous mother who’s just handed her newborn to a clumsy aunt. She winds up getting so frustrated with me, she closes whatever file she’s working in (without quitting the program, though—she always forgets to quit the…oops, see what I mean?)

It’s gotten to the point where she sometimes forgets what brand of computer we own. It’s no longer the “Macintosh” computer, it’s a “Thatdam” computer. As in “how much time are you going to spend on Thatdam computer tonight?”

So this Valentine’s Day, those of you reading this expecting to find a list of romantic Internet sites, places on the web to buy flowers or find poetry will have to look elsewhere. This month’s column will feature no URLs, no FTP sites, and no links.

My advice for this Valentine’s Day is about chivalry, not technology. It’s about open hearts and open arms, not OpenDoc and Open Transport.

I’m declaring St. V’s big day as computer-free. I won’t boot up, I won’t surf the ‘net, and I won’t read my e-mail.

I’m turning to simpler pursuits on this day. I’m going to buy a card, put it in an envelope, and hand it—not e-mail it—to her. I’m going to write her a poem, not download one. And I’m going to relish in the “anti-technology” of the whole experience. I’m going to pay special attention to the way the pen feels as it moves across the paper—to how the ink smells. To how beautiful my wife look bathed in the glow of firelight instead of the cathode-ray tube of my monitor.

You see, when you get right down to it, I like my Mac.

It’s my wife I love.