The Evolution of Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2012

in After The Honeymoon, Cheap Expectations, I Learn the Lessons So You Don't Have To, OldSchool

Once upon a time, in a land south of the Mason Dixon Line, there lived a girl and her prince. She was a doe-eyed freshman, locked away in a single-sex dorm in the heart of a cavalier campus; he was an experienced senior. But both were swept up in a thing called love.

Luckily for them, there was a day created especially to celebrate their love. A day called Valentine’s Day.  And on this day, he picked her up in his light blue ’67 Chevy Pickup, his cowboy hat and combat boots gleaming, and a bouquet of freshly-picked daffodils from the flower beds outside of the cafeteria in his hands. She wore her roommate’s prettiest dress and ordered the salad instead of the steak. Afterwards, they cuddled on the couch as he introduced her to his favorite movie, Gladiator.

Truly, it was a magical time.

Unfortunately for our story, 6 years later the girl and her prince were married.

And as the wedding bells tolled, so did they toll for the death of her Valentine’s Day.

To be fair, though, she should have seen it coming…

Our second Valentine’s Day? He still picked me up in his ’67 Chevy. The hat and boots might not have been gleaming, but I still had enough stars in my eyes to make them shine. He gave me my pick of restaurants for the evening’s meal. I chose a charming little italian place down town. As did every other red-blooded woman in that city. So we ended up at McDonalds.

By our third Valentine’s Day, we had down graded to a simple exchange of gifts. He was a waiter at the time, and his evening was spent flirting with tipsy sorority girls and blue-haired octogenarians, while mine was spent slinging pizzas and turning down repeated offers to check my breasts for implants from the grill boy at the on-campus dive. We met up after shift and hurriedly exchanged our gifts. A box of BBQ Sauce for him, a case of Diet Coke for me. And then we went to bed. Separately. Without showering.

The next year? I got a giant stuffed gorilla. Specifically, the one I had pointed out to him in Walgreens as possibly the most hideous thing I had ever seen. He? May have gotten a card. I think.

By our fifth Valentine’s Day, the Big Man had moved on to medical school. Pleading poverty and a looming deadline, he actually skipped the entire holiday. And I let him. Probably because it saved me from having to think of yet another gift to give him.

I’m sorry, but when Christmas is in December and your loved one’s birthday is a mere 3 months later? Stuffing yet another gift in between them is like asking for a third slice of cheese on your bologna sandwich. It’s not going to make much of a difference.

Somehow, he managed to sell me on the idea of skipping Valentine’s Day altogether the next year. We celebrated President’s Day instead. Partly to avoid the crowds. But mostly because he had a coupon.

And so it went.

Until this weekend, ten years after that first Valentine’s Day, when, by golly, there will be romance. There will be soft music. And candles. And chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne, and roses.

Because I bought them for myself.

Happy President’s Day, Ya’ll!


Megan - Best of Fates February 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I clearly need to start buying myself chocolate-covered strawberries. Life would be so much better.

Audrey February 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Ha ha ha ha ha We ended up at McDonalds on our second Valentine’s day too! Glad its not just me! Its a sweet story and I hope you guys had a wonderful Valentine’s day!

NSC February 15, 2012 at 10:46 am

Awww, thats so sweet. But I must disagree with you, that third slice of cheese on the bologna sandwich – DOES make a difference. It may then be a cheese sandwich with a slice of bologna, but Oh, so much better for the extra cheese.

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