Originally published 2/14/2005:
This really isn't a favorite day for me. I've never had a "valentine" before. That could probably account for why I'm not a fan of the day and take a very cynical approach to it. I've always argued that St. Valentine's Day is a holiday created by the Hallmark's and Russell Stover's of the world. It seems to be one of those days when guys are expected to one-up themselves from the year before. The men who remember that this day holds a magical meaning with their women folk tend to worry that they won't be able to come up with that great, romantic idea that's gonna top the chocolate and flowers they gave last year. The way I see it, the first Valentine's Day in a relationship has gotta be the easiest one. Every year after that gets progressively more difficult.
A few years ago I actually had a date on Valentine's Day. Okay, she wasn't really a date. She's just a friend, and she was engaged at the time. Her fiancee lived on the other side of the state while she was finishing college. So she had no choice but to spend Valentine's Day (which is like Christmas to this girl) with the next best thing: me. The initial idea was that she needed a man's opinion as she picked out some sort of dress that would impress the fiancee when she was able to get home the following weekend. In return for my expert advice, she would pay for my dinner. Aaron's rule #8: Never turn down free food off-campus. So of course I went along with this scheme. We went from shop to shop where I watched as she tried on numerous dresses. That part did not suck. With each outfit she would ask, "What do you think?" To which I would very helpfully respond, "It's okay." This led her to not buying a dress that night. Aaron's rule #9: Ladies should not take a guy shopping if they want a real opinion. After the two hours of obligatory dressing room loitering, we made it to the restaurant. The lights were dimmed and there were candles on the table, making the regular college hot spot into a romantic venue. We were seated and as we looked over the menu we were made very aware of a party of 12-year-old girls directly across from our table. I didn't catch all of their preteen jargon, but I gathered they were there for a birthday. The birthday girl's mother told them to keep quiet saying that we were trying to have a romantic dinner. So my good friend Shannon, being the loud and brutally honest person she is, let everyone in the mall know that we're just friends. This is the part where I got to embarass her. Not missing a beat, I looked up and, tears streaming, said, "What do you mean we're just friends???" Oh, the humiliation. And on her favorite day of the year. I wanted to feel sorry for her, but I was laughing too hard.
That's the Valentine's Day story that I'll never get tired of telling. By the way, did anyone else notice that today's initials are "VD?" Just an observation.
So, any romantic plans today? Me, I'll be sitting at home, probably watching Couples Fear Factor. Maybe after that I'll throw When Harry Met Sally into the DVD player and grab a pint of Ben & Jerry's. Face it, it's a lot cheaper than naming a star after someone.