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?