A Valentine’s to Remember

With February 14th, 2011 fast approaching, I began to plan what was, in my mind, a wonderful day for me and my girlfriend. A few weeks before the day in question, I already had the wheels in motion for the epic day. After overhearing my girlfriend (who for the sake of fair and unbiased reporting we will simply call “L”) and her mother discussing their favorite restaurant, I went home and promptly called the small French-inspired cafe in question to reserve seats for Valentine’s Day. With the restaurant being so small and chic, it was a battle to get a table, even with the foresight to call nearly a month before the day. Yet, after fifteen minutes or so on the phone setting up the reservation, including prepaying a non-returnable fee, I was able to secure one of the most sought after seats in one of the premiere romantic eateries in the state. I was so proud of my achievement, and couldn’t wait to bring my girlfriend there when the night came.

As the time approached, as all girls tend to do, L began to question me about my elusive plan that I kept mostly secret, besides the fact that it was awesome. Her curiosity soon peaked and turned into a forceful demand that I tell her what the plan was. Unable to keep it in the shadows anymore, a few days before Valentine’s Day, I finally surrendered my plot. Upon telling her the reservations were made, L broke down into one of the more memorable female moments of shock that I have ever heard. (I only heard it as I relayed this message through the phone.) I could hear shrieks of glee as well as muffled footsteps from her socked feet as she frantically scurried to her mother, exclaiming “Frank is taking me to my favorite place…he got reservations!” The mother seemed to be as giddy and ecstatic about the situation as her daughter, who knew the difficulty of what I had done and also the thought that had to go into it; L had literally only mentioned the place once but I managed to remember it. This is when the story gets a whole lot funnier, or more awful…depending on how you look at it.

A few more days passes uneventfully, and soon Valentine’s Day Eve was upon us. I was feeling quite good. I had picked out a wonderful outfit for the formal dinner that was planned, and been smiling all night about what was sure to be the best Valentine’s Day of my life. Yet, the fates did not have the same optimism about my future as I myself held in the moment. Sure enough, just as my relationship confidence (which had always been chronically low) began to truly reach new levels, L picked up her phone and gave me a call that I will not ever forget.

L acted differently than she ever had before. Her normal flowery, happy voice was one full of nerves and tension as she told me that not only was she unable to come to the fantastic dinner I had planned, but she could no longer date me. She said we just were not working out, and the relationship I had put so much into could not go on any more. She also mentioned that her old boyfriend was back in the picture. As much as this is a common scenario, there were a few things odd about my situation in particular. Firstly, wouldn’t someone with some courtesy just go to the nice dinner and handle this situation after Valentine’s Day rather than spoil such a romantic day that took so much forethought (and money)? I know the whole idea of Valentine’s Day is a corporate created cash-grab, but it still is supposed to give a sense of love that is tangible enough for most people to feel and respect. Secondly, when people go back to ex’s, they usually have some sort of redeeming quality, even if it is well hidden. This ex was, and still remains, a loser on every possible level. From his constant level of unhealthy weight to his tiny brain that barely maintained his tenure in private school his wealthy parents funded, he truly was unworthy of any woman. Yet, in L’s mind, he was the knight in shining armor rather than I, who had done so much for her even in hard times I cannot begin to discuss in this format. Even before this thoughtful Valentine’s Day plan, I had bought her a lovely Tiffany bracelet for Christmas (Yes, I know that was a mistake too, don’t rub it in) as well as handling several dilemmas that were huge, including a pregnancy scare that didn’t involve me sexually at all…you can put the pieces together on that one by yourself I hope. Why I stayed with a girl like that I cannot say now, but at the time, I was overly kind as I tend to be in relationships, a flaw I still am working on ironing out so I am not too vulnerable. Anyway….

At the end of the day, my story is not entirely unique or fantastic, but it is one that should be read and noted. I always used to be the idealistic lover, who believed that we live in a world of complete equality. Sadly, love does not follow the same laws Newton laid down centuries ago, and some people give much more than they get. On Valentine’s Day, these sorts of unequal reactions happen all over the world, and must be, to some extent, expected. By no means am I promoting the cynical disbelief of love that some people hold, but I just hope that my tale can portray the darker cards that are dealt from the deck of life; the ones we all gamble against for the lofty dream of true and eternal love. But remember, even though this dark and depressing part of love exists in the world, there is no risk too great to take in the pursuit of love. So, in conclusion, I wish the small group of people who read my story a happy and special experience this Valentine’s Day. If it turns out awful like mine last year, don’t be discouraged, and don’t ever call it quits. There will always be another chance, and it doesn’t have to be on an arbitrary holiday like Valentine’s Day. Make every day your Valentine’s Day, seek love with an open, honest heart, and in the end you will find the true love that we all seek.

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