In 8th grade, I was going out with a boy, whom we shall call Randy Mitchell of 45 Hopewell Rd, Glastonbury. Going out with Randy mostly meant that we exchanged school pictures and I giggled like a drunken smurf every time we passed in the hallways. This was my first Valentine's Day with a boyfriend; I bought Randy a five pound Hershey's Kiss to celebrate the event. Randy dumped me (via handwritten note that he gave to my friend Amie to give to me, no less) on the morning of February 14th. Amie and I ate that whole giant Kiss during history class, thus kicking off life-long food issues.
In high school, I was friendly with a boy we'll call Lee Gardner of 122 Weir Street. Valentine's Day fell on a Saturday, and I was working at a little grocery store in town. Lee called me and asked shyly if he could take me out on my break for a romantic lunch. Of course I said yes, and lo and behold, the rotten little snotbag stood me up. I consumed an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Heath Bar Crunch that day, and to this day, toffee makes me gag. Maybe Randy and Lee should get together to compare notes on how to give a teenage girl an eating disorder.
In college, I dated a guy named Tom who was fifty thousand times more in to me than I was in to him. In February, he sent me roses, a diamond pendant, a 1986 vintage Ron Francis Whalers jersey, a new car, and gourmet chocolate drizzle popcorn. In return, I hand-made him a card that said "Roses are red, violets are blue, you skeeve me out, I'm dumping you." Personally, I thought it was clever as heck. From what I understand, Tom wound up in therapy for years. It turned out that inflicting psychological damage on February 14th was a power that could be weilded by either party, and I liked it.
My first husband used to demand breakfast in bed for Valentine's Day. I think this was because he was too lazy to waddle in to the kitchen and cook it himself. I would cheerfully comply, always adding something a little extra, like egg shells. And if the eggs happened to slide off of the frying pan in to the litter box before I served it to him, all the better. I'm sure he thought I was the world's lousiest cook. That's okay; I thought he was the world's lousiest husband.
When I finally shed all of that baggage, I tried to find someone who was considerate, kind, and not inclined to celebrate Valentine's Day. When I met Jason, I thought I'd lucked out. However, it turned out that Jason had a tendency to promise that we wouldn't do anything for Valentine's Day, then surprise me with the complete works of Augusten Burroughs. And I have to admit...it was kind of nice.
So to all of you, I wish you luck getting through this Valentine's Day. If you're feeling down, ask yourself: what's more important? Having a snugglebunny to share this day with, or being the first in line at CVS when all of the candy is reduced to half price on February 15th? Honestly, you could make a good argument for both.
Happy Valentine's Day!