Writing left handed

My Best Valentine’s Day (Obviously Not This Year)

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Image by Rev Dan Catt via Flickr

Valentine’s Day.  You had to see it coming.  I can’t write a blog that’s primarily about dating and let the holiday slip by unnoticed, even though I’ll be doing my best to avoid all human contact on February 14th.

I’ve had several great Valentine’s Day dates over the years, so if you’re looking for inspiration (or ideas), read on.  If you’d rather wallow in despair and self pity without the inconvenience of remembering that sometimes men don’t suck, check back tomorrow when I promise to regale you with tales of my worst Valentine’s Day ever.

For now: the good ones.

During my senior year of college, I was dating a man who was, by nearly all accounts, quite a catch.  He had a car, a job, his own house and— oh yeah— twelve years on me.  When Valentine’s Day rolled around, he got one of my friends to sneak him into my dorm and proceeded to arrange all sorts of V-Day paraphernalia outside of my door.  The majority of it was rather tacky: balloons, a stuffed cat with a mechanized tail, and a heart-shaped box of chocolates but it was sweet of him to make the effort.

We went to an expensive tapas restaurant in Fells Point, drank wine out of stemless glasses (this was before the wine community declared such glasses a travesty) and spent the rest of the evening in my dorm room, trying not to fall off of my tiny twin bed as I went through my usual “To sleep with or not to sleep with?” debate.

(For the record, he was a gentleman.)

That was nearly four years ago.  The man in question was so upset when we broke up that he quit his job and moved to Florida.  I’ve been ignoring his Facebook requests for months so I don’t expect to be receiving any chocolates from him this year.

The following year saw the timely arrival of a package from Amazon.com with a CD and a note from a former flat mate who, over the course of the next six weeks, went from friend to boyfriend to ex-boyfriend.  We no longer speak.  (Seeing as it was the CD that marked the beginning of our romance and the end of our friendship, maybe I should have saved this one for my Worst Valentine’s Day post…)

2009 resulted in a misunderstanding of epic proportions during which an Englishman I’d met during grad school had the misfortune to buy me a drink on Valentine’s Day without realizing that I tend to do that whole Jane Austen admiration/love/marriage thing whenever a handsome man so much as glances in my direction.  Suffice it to say, I spent the next several months obsessing and it was only a three-hour phone call on the eve of my departure from London that finally brought me to my senses.

2010, however, was one for the books.  Unfortunately I was still rebounding from my most recent break up (and depressed over having left London) so it’s safe to say that I wasn’t really ready for the dinner, ballroom dancing, flowers, chocolates, cake, more chocolate and more flowers that my crush-at-the-time lavished upon me (to say nothing of his mention of the “L” word during dessert).  It was, without a doubt, my loveliest Valentine’s Day ever.

The man in question even special ordered me a world map I’d been coveting (I know, I know, me and my maps) and—best of all—parallel parked my car in the snow. I’m not sure that anyone will be able to top that performance.

Of course, if you’ve enjoyed a particularly romantic V-Day date (perhaps with a man whose parallel parked your car and bought you jewelry?) by all means: do tell!  What did you wear?  What did s/he wear?  Was it the standard box-0-milk-chocolate from the drug store or proper truffles enveloped in gold leaf and tied with an appropriately romantically-colored ribbon?  And (here’s the real question, I suppose), are you still together?

10 Responses to “My Best Valentine’s Day (Obviously Not This Year)”

  1. Elizabeth

    In 2008, my boyfriend (at the time) surprised me. We were on our way to dinner when he realized he forgot his wallet. We ran back to his house to get it. I walk in… his entry way and dining room have been blocked off from the rest of his house and he’s made it look like an Italian restaurant. Our friend greets us and takes us to our table. There are roses and a cd playing that he created specifically for me. We have wine, are served a 3 course meal. We dance, laugh, and all that good stuff. Then we went out with friends. It was the best valentines day ever! He is now married and expecting. We don’t speak because his wife hates me, and I’ve never even met her!

  2. sarahnsh

    I had really lovely Valentine’s Days with my ex. He was independently wealthy and I remember one Valentine’s Day we got a couple’s massage where they had flowers all over the place and chocolate. He also did quite a few other things, especially with anniversaries. We made little cards and care packacges to each other because of it being a long distance relationship. It didn’t work out because of the distance and he wouldn’t commit.

    My fiancee did this very cute thing for our first anniversary, though it wasn’t Valentine’s Day, for our first month Anniversary he got me a card and made me dinner with my favorite food. He had everything prepared for when I came home from work, we had a bottle of ice wine, and ate the dinner in candlelight. It was so romantic. For our 6 month anniversary he made dinner for me again, wrote the sweetest card ever, and we exchanged cute little gifts.

    I try to seem like a hardass to other people, to co-workers, etc. but he’s the only one who knows I’m a big softie, well, him and my mom know. Obviously we are engaged now and I couldn’t be happier. I’m looking to spoil him for Valentine’s Day and he has stuff planned for me too. I love your stories too, especially the last one. Parallel parking in the snow? Whoa!

  3. Your Landlord

    Okay, now I know a few readers personally, there has got to be some romantic or hysterical VD story out there…sorry, I don’t have one–c’mon share! Don’t make me call you out 😉

  4. Canti

    Valentine’s Day is a nice dream, but from the beginning, my husband and I decided that we didn’t need a special day to say how much we loved each other. We lived our whole marriage like every day was V-day and we didn’t need an excuse to be “sappy.” My husband’s last words to me were “I love you;” he went into the hospital two weeks before Christmas and passed away three months later. I had a hard time with Christmas the first year after he died … but it’s has gotten better with time.

    Valentine’s Day is too potentially incendiary if you think about it … my boss at the public institution at which I worked for over a decade married the love of her life on Valentines Day … it was lovely, sweet & wildly romantic . He died suddenly at the beginning of February two years later … I can’t imagine what emotion that day will always bring for her.

    Anyway … though Valentines Day is a nice romantic notion … in the long run? Though I’m sure there are a lot of people who are jazzed by the idea, the reality falls short time and time again. I prefer to think of it as just another day, know what I mean?

  5. becky119

    “The man in question even special ordered me a world map I’d been coveting (I know, I know, me and my maps) and—best of all—parallel parked my car in the snow. I’m not sure that anyone will be able to top that performance.”

    When my boyfriend and I first started dating we were parked in behind his frat house and I sat in the car complaining that he should be able to get us out of this when roughly ten minutes later, he had moved the car sideways by scooching up and down up and down. One of the most amazing things I’ve ever see someone do with a car.

    Valentine’s Day for Adam and me tends to be an excuse to go out for a nice dinner. Some of our better dates that stick in my mind occured either on our anniversary (surprise trip to Disney World) or my birthday (dinner at my favorite resturaunt followed by us seeing RENT live, even though he hates musicals). I really do seem to have found one of the few ‘nice’ guys left. That isn’t say he doesn’t have faults…but really, a guy who will endure several hours of activities that he doesn’t even like because he knows you love it? That’s a guy to keep around. (Plus he surprises me on occasion with presents like BOOKS!!!) And…yes we’re still together, almost six years now.


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