This year I decided to do it. I vowed that I would surrender to Valentine’s Day. Being on both sides of this bizarre holiday at various times of my life, single some years and in relationships on others, I had grown to resent the stigma, pressure and commercialization of this day all together. During my single years, no matter how content I was, Valentine’s Day made me feel as if cupid was a hateful, heartless weasel with terrible aim of an arrow. Conversely, the years that I had a partner, the ritual was inevitably disappointing as the evening never quite turned out like a ‘Hallmark moment’, to say the least.
Mister man would bring me flowers, forgetting to take the $3.99 REDUCED FOR QUICK SALE sticker off of the plastic wrapper, making it painfully evident that he nearly forgot all together. It was obvious that it only occurred to him to purchase the stale flowers at the gas station on his way home while filling up his tank. Thank God his car was on empty and that the man in front of him was beaming to the clerk about the diamond necklace he bought his lovely wife in celebration of the holiday.
Granted, he did bring me flowers and I would otherwise be thankful, REDUCED FOR QUICK SALE and all. But this holiday inevitably made a petty woman of me as I found myself comparing the wilted, dying daisies to the three dozen blooming red roses delivered to my co-worker by 9am promptly on February 14th.
Finally having found a healthy, loving sweetheart whom I truly adore, this year I pondered to myself, self-perhaps you have lost your sense of adventure. Have you become a cynical, stale woman who is overly analytical and refuses to consider the possibility that having a day dedicated to expressing appreciation to your loved one might not be such a bad thing?
A matter of stepping outside of practicality and into romance, I type GOOGLE: ROMANTIC IDEAS FOR VALENTINES DAY. With pen in hand, I jotted down the list of suggestions: HOME COOKED MEAL… Easy enough… BOX OF CANDY… Okie dokie… RED WINE… No problem! CANDLES… this is actually sounding nice… LINGERE… gulp.
Upon arriving home, I started cooking our meal, dimmed the lights, lit fifty cinnamon candles and placed the heart shaped chocolates on the kitchen table. I even sprinkled a trail of rose petals from the doorway to the bedroom and somehow squeezed into the despicable little nightgown that I purchased from Victoria’s Secret. I was surprisingly anxious and giddy when he walked through the door.
I wasn’t sure if it was the length of the nightgown, the high heel shoes or the rose petals on the floor, but as I walked towards him I lost my footing and fell face forward onto the ground. Never having endured a nosebleed of this caliber, I remained in shock sprawled out on the hardwood, spread eagle as he ran to get me a towel. As he held me in his arms trying to comfort me, the fire alarm that was now going off nearly gave us both a heart attack. Apparently, the chicken caught on fire and the smell was indescribable. I could not have been more embarrassed or disappointed.
Almost breaking his back, my lover picked me up and carried me to bed. I closed my eyes for a few moments to regroup. When I rolled over on my side, there lying on his pillow, were two single roses; one red, one yellow. He sat on the bed beside me. “Do we want Domino’s or Papa John’s?” he chuckled, as he kissed my forehead and carefully applied a bandaid to my potentially broken nose. If a single red rose truly means love and yellow implies friendship, then this time, I must have gotten it right. Perhaps twenty-four times is the charm.