Saturday, February 14, 2009

In Which I Have One Hell Of A Day

I haven't always disliked Valentine's Day.

In elementary school, my classmates and I would hand out perforated pieces of cardstock printed in varying shades of red and pink, with the latest popular cartoon characters with smiling faces printed on them. Each one would have some clever but ultimately redundant phrase, and below would be the scribbled name of the person who gave it out. There would be candy, too, most likely those chalk-flavored hearts with abbreviated inscriptions. All in all, it wasn't a bad day. Once home from school that day, I would eat the candy and stare lovingly at the card given to me by my crush that asked if I would be hers. I would be hers, yes, if only in my prepubescent dreams.

I had no qualms with the holiday until the events that transpired on Valentine's Day in 2004.

I had been dating this girl at college for a couple months, and earlier in the year she mentioned that she had always wanted to have an upscale and fancy Valentine's Day. She talked about getting dressed up in formal wear and going to a fancy restaurant... it seemed to me like a typical romantic fantasy. I wanted to do my best to give her what she wanted, so I started planning for this months in advance.

I rented a tuxedo and bought her an elegant red dress with jewelry and shoes. I made reservations (three months ahead of time, that's how long the waiting list was) at the fanciest restaurant in town, this upscale seafood place inside a large luxury boat down on the coast. I didn't have a car at the time, so the day before I took her car to get detailed, washed, and waxed. I went out and got a haircut, bought her flowers and a romantic card (and chocolate-covered strawberries) to give her when we got back to the dorms. I pulled out all the stops, found some more, and pulled those out, too. Everything was all arranged, and February 14th finally came.

From there, it all started to fall apart.

Confident she knew where she was going, she insisted I leave the directions to the restaurant at home. As it would happen, we got horribly lost. We ended up in a scary part of town, and while I'm not entirely sure, I think we might have been witness to 13 drug deals, 7 assaults, and 2 homicides. We eventually got to the restaurant unscathed, but by the time we arrived we had missed our reservation. We were forced to sit and wait with the other patrons without reservations. We waited for two hours before we were seated. 

Due to the nature of the restaurant, there were no prices on the items on the menu. My girlfriend ordered a glass of wine, an appetizer, and her entree. I ordered my entree with a glass of water. The meal was decent, but not being a fan of seafood, I didn't truly enjoy it. The whole night was supposed to be my girlfriends dream Valentine's Day so I didn't complain, even when she ordered dessert. 

I was scared to look at the bill when the waitress brought out the check. It wasn't as bad as I had thought it could be, but nonetheless, paying $85 for one meal for two people definitely hurt the wallet. After the meal, I tripped in the parking lot while going to get the car, and got mud all over my rented tux. We managed to get back to the dorms without getting lost, and it was considerably late by the time we arrived. 

I walked her to her room with her flowers, card, and chocolate-covered strawberries in hand. Once inside her room she looked up at me, said "Thank you", and closed the door.

I stood in the hallway, dumbfounded. 

Call me presumptuous, but after all the money and effort I put into making the day as much in line with her romantic fantasy, I expected to get a little something in return. I didn't have anything sexual in mind (sure, it would have been nice), but any kind gesture would have been appreciated. I spent over $200 giving her the fantasy Valentine's Day she had always dreamed of, and all I got was a "Thank you"? No card? No fooling around? Not even a cheap box of chocolates? 

I was pissed.

And the most ironic and painful thing about this whole ordeal? Finding out three days later that the dessert at the restaurant, that fucking $12 slice of cheesecake, caused me to overdraft my checking account. 

Happy Fucking Valentine's Day.

---

It was one hell of a day, but I try not to think about it too much. I still get a little upset when I think about how ungrateful my ex-girlfriend was, but it is in the past. She and I had our share of problems, and we broke up about a month later. 

The Boss doesn't get into Valentine's Day too much, either out of her own feelings for the holiday or out of respect for mine. As the tradition goes, I make her a card and she makes me dinner. This year, in exchange for a handmade card (with a romantic haiku), I'll enjoy some spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread. 

And I don't have to wear a tux.

10 Comments:

Moonspun said...

Aw, Badass! That is one hell of a story...and probably right there shows why she is your EX girlfriend and now you have a lovely WIFE who doesn't make you rent a tux for naught.
Hope you enjoyed that spaghetti!Whose to say pasta isn't romantic?

Cape Cod Gal said...

Alright, were is this bitch now? Do you need me to kick her ass for you???

The little things on V-day are the best. Why waste $200 on fancy stuff when you can stay home and eat spagetti and meatballs in your sweatpants? I'm totally all for that!

Heather said...

I hate Valentine's Day because it seems to hurt more people than not.

Daddy Files said...

OK, I'll be the misogynistic jerk who says what any guy who reads this is already thinking:

You had every right to expect something sexual after a rented tux, a ridiculously expensive dinner and her car detailed. She should've been doing her best circus seal impression in the car, before you even got back to the dorm.

You're too nice Badass...too nice I say!

gingermagnolia said...

What a rude little bitch! I agree, you are too nice a guy. That's a lot of time/money/effort towards a person who didn't show any effort for you.

Enjoy your pasta!

Kat said...

After all that trouble you at least deserved a hand job...just sayin'

Jen W said...

So, I'm guessing as soon as the door shut, she became your ex-girlfriend at that point?!?!

Lola said...

What a bitch! I have to say that I saw it coming, though. You were WAY too nice!

Good thing you got rid of her.

splodge said...

At least you discovered that romance doesn't have to be expensive...as long as it comes from the heart.

Badass Geek said...

Moonspun: The only time The Boss has seen me in a tux was at our wedding. Never again, if I can help it.

Cape Cod Gal: Oh, she's kicked herself in the ass enough times since then. Karma is a bitch.

Heather: Agreed.

Daddy Files: I know I'm too nice. It's a personality flaw.

Gingermagnolia: The pasta was great.

Kat: At least!

Jen W: No, sadly. I was an idiot and dated her for another month before I smartened up.

Lola: I tried too hard.

Splodge: Oh, it came from the heart... And my wallet.

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