Valentine’s Day is upon us once again. If you walked into a store the week after Christmas, I’m sure you saw that the shelves were already filled with heart shaped boxes of all sizes filled with chocolates and boxes of Valentines decorated with cartoon characters, wrestlers, monster trucks and singers for school kids to share with their friends.
Over the years I’ve realized that Valentine’s Day is more noticeable when you’re single than when you’re in a relationship. As I was looking at Valentine’s last week a flood of embarrassing memories came rushing in causing me to blush right in front of the chocolates and stuffed animals.
In February 2003 I was seven months pregnant. I woke up not feeling wonderful that Valentine’s morning but figured it was just from being pregnant. I was so excited to have a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day so I’m sure I was in denial that I was actually getting sick. We ate dinner and decided to take in a movie. I was feeling a little yucky but was still ignoring it. Before the previews were finished playing I was sleeping. And not only was I sleeping, I was snoring loudly! I was snoring loud enough that the boyfriend actually elbowed me several times. When I finally woke up, dinner decided to not stay put. Being that it was Valentine’s Day, the theater was full so I had to crawl over strangers to head out to the restroom. I spent the rest of the movie in the ladies room and in the wee hours of the next morning in the ER because I was dehydrated.
But that was just a pinch of embarrassment compared to Valentine’s Day 2006. A friend of mine “set me up” with a friend of hers. We decided that we would meet on Valentine’s Day but because we both had to work we decided to meet in a grocery store parking lot. Meeting in public was a big mistake but at least I had an escape route.
I embarrass easily. I hyperventilate if the waiting staff gathers around my table to sing Happy Birthday in a restaurant. If a customer ahead of me in line and not even with me argues with the salesperson, I just want to hide under a counter until the person has lef. Don’t get me wrong, I do like to have fun but just don’t make a complete idiot out of yourself.
Anyway, he parked his truck and walked over to my car. We talked for a few minutes and then told me that he had a surprise and walked back to his truck. Out of his truck he produced a guitar. I’m sure at that point my face was already bright red because I could feel the embarrassment burning through my skin and my stomach twisted into a thousand knots but still, I tried to be nice. He proceeded to sing Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis. I’m not sure why he chose that song for Valentine’s Day. And not only did he sing at the top of his lungs he also attempted to dance. People stopped loading their groceries into their cars to watch. Fight or flight kicked in so I chose flight. I drove out of that parking lot like the green flag had been dropped at a race. The next day I got a text from him that said: “I guess you were running late for work. I don’t know about you but I felt a real connection.” The only connection I felt was the knots in my stomach. I’m still not sure what I had ever done to that friend for her to seek revenge by setting me up with that goofball.
So maybe being single on Valentine’s Day isn’t such a bad thing.