For me, history has shown Valentines Day is essentially just like New Years Eve:
--Jam packed with unobtainable expectations.
--Sprinkled with a girl crying in a corner (sometimes myself).
--Strangely, involves pepperoni.
--And ends with me drinking by myself, most likely in an alley.
My freshman year of high school I had a boyfriend who gave me a Hickory Farms smoked meat and cheese basket (see… pepperoni). I was 15, so any shitty heart shaped box of chocolates from Walmart would’ve worked. I’m convinced this was a re-gift of sorts. I mean, a Hickory Farms meat basket is pretty pricey for a freshman, he wouldn’t have voluntarily bought me that. I remember coming home, throwing it on the couch, and whining to my dad. He told me the guy seemed like a keeper, as he scavenged through the shredded tissue looking for the beef summer sausage.
In my 20’s, one New Year was spent in Detroit, my date a guy I met at a party two weeks earlier, and since I met many eligible bachelors that night, you can imagine my surprise when I show up and it’s ‘the other Eric’. Due to my not-so amazing ability of showing disappointment all over my face, he wasn’t too interested in hanging out with me. I hurt his man ego. Cut to 1AM, I’m drinking by myself.
So in the spirit of unrealistic holidays, I’d like to share the story of my husband and I’s first Valentines Day. We had been dating for a couple months and we were head over heels. Inseparable. Like – move my cat into his house – inseparable. And as Vooms-Day approached, I had hope this would be the year I turned things around.
I don’t think much more could’ve gone wrong on this day. Try to visualize me backflipping out of bed in the morning, pulling back the curtains to call to cartoon birds and mice to dress me, and singing ‘Today is the day! The day of love!’ That’s pretty much how it started.
I skip over to my pre-husband with a glimmer in my eye and place a card and present in his hands. Imagine my surprise when he tells me he forgot to get me a card.
It’s okay Sarah. Keep your cool.
And then he opens the gift, a monogrammed golf polo. Like, I legit thought this gift out in advance. He holds it up to himself and thanks me, but in the same breath tells me that ‘…personally, I don’t like monogrammed things. So please just don’t monogram me anything ever again.’
Keep. Your. Cool. Sarah.
Okay, all will be remedied with our plans for the day. We were living in Las Vegas at the time and planned a hike through the Red Rocks with wine and cheese. Perfect balance: he makes me work out, I make him eat cheese and pepperoni (I should’ve known as soon as I introduced pepperoni to this day, it was ruined). I keep the pep in my step and start to prepare for our day date.
I convince the Disney birds and mice to stick around for a while, there will be dress making to do. I’ll turn this day around just yet. Keep up your spirits, and make me a blanket if you’re so bored. I don’t give a shit if you’re tired, magical creatures.
He then looks at me, and carefully says, ‘Soooo, I feel like we have a lot to do today. We’re trying to move you out of your apartment and today would be our last full day to move you out before next month rent is due. Can we cancel the hike?’
Cancel…. Valentines Day? Cancel… love? Cancel… cheese?!?
I feel a blood vessel pulsing in my eyeball. I barely realize I’m choking out a Disney squirrel.
Keep. Your. Fucking. Cool.
Suuuuure, babe. Let’s totally cancel Valentines Day for some good ole hard labor. Sounds exactly like what I was hoping for.
So in a swift sentence, Valentines Day was cancelled, and to this day, I don’t let him live it down. He still gets the sweats when he sees a Hallmark card aisle. I bet he’d even let me tattoo monogram on his chest. And he never brings up that one year later, I myself completely forgot about Valentines Day and woke up in a 4am panic, wondering how I could get to the grocery store to buy a card. I remember thinking to myself, ‘I’ll buy Papyrus, that will totally make up for forgetting. Yes, a $13 card will do the trick.’
Many years later, it doesn’t seem important. He’ll always test the waters and ask, ‘Should we do something special? Or, are we doing cards this year?’ And every time I’m equally exhausted with life, and I say, ‘Why? Who cares?’
So maybe he was just ahead of the game regarding this stupid holiday. Maybe I need to just let it go, and not Frozen ‘let it go’, just let it go for crying out loud! And me admitting he was right, about anything, is something he’ll never let me live down.