I used to hate Valentine’s Day with a fiery passion – not because it’s a Hallmark holiday designed to make single people feel bad about their present situations or because the pressure of professing your love through material objects is ridiculous…but because of a traumatizing life experience.
As many of you know, my parents sent me to an all-girls high school in an effort to deter me from getting distracted by boys. However, this notion backfired…and I met a boy.
I was fifteen when I met Christoper Donato – he was sixteen, had braces and a haircut that made him look like Joseph Gordon-Levitt circa 10 Things I Hate About You. And, ironically, we met because of my parents.
In another effort to distract me from the opposite sex, my parents wanted me to join a sports team. Unfortunately, for them, I couldn’t run, got expelled for being too violent during lacrosse and I lied about trying out for field hockey. Similarly, I also “mixed up” the try out dates for basketball, softball, volley ball…and well, you get the picture.
So, the only thing that was left for me to join was swim team. Luckily for me, my high school didn’t have a pool. We practiced at Chaminade – a prestigious all-boys high school located within walking distance of my house. High five, bro.
My best friend Sam and I would always get to practice early to flirt with the boys who had stayed late for extra help or, even better, were getting out from detention. Chris happened to be the latter.
We’d spent most of the half hour before my swim practices making out on the football field – the fact that I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit rendered getting any further than that quite difficult. However, we did get to second base during a school dance that I got kicked out of. Anyway…
Chris had asked me to be his girlfriend on Friday, February 1, 2002 the same night we got kicked out of the dance over a mint chip sundae at the local Friendly’s. I was thrilled to say the least.
Fast forward thirteen days later to Thursday, February 14, 2002: Valentine’s Day.
I don’t know how things work in other schools but at my school, on Valentine’s Day, classes would end about a half hour early. Sr. Margaret would get on the PA and announce that some girls had special deliveries of flowers and that they were come down to the office to claim them once their name had been called.
And, on this, my second Valentine’s Day in high school, my name was called. I nearly forgot to take my backpack with me as I made my way down to the principal’s office. As I passed the hoard of girls gushing over their rose bouquets, I received the slightest of nods as though they were saying, “Yes, you are one of us.”
Oh how I loved Chris at that particular point in time – I even thought about letting him get some under the bra boob action once this was all over. I grinned at Sr. Margaret, my cheeks crying from the pain of smiling so much and searched for my bouquet.
She smiled at me, put her shoulder around me and said, “Oh, Lauren, dear…we sent someone to get you…um, there’s been a mistake.”
“Oh no!” I gasped, “It’s okay if you dropped them – I’ll still like them.” I assured her.
“Oh no, child,” she said, “you see, we read the card long. It’s Lauren Solloci that has flowers here.”
“That’s great! I’m sure she’ll be right down. Anyway, where are mine?”
It took about ten minutes for the fact that I did not actually receive any flowers to sink into my brain until I finally adjusted my backpack and said, “Oh, okay, then…well, I guess I’ll just go to my locker and wait for the bus.”
“No you most certainly will not!” Sr. Margaret said. “You must got back to class – there’s still twenty more minutes until 9th period is over.”
“I have to go back upstairs?! Empty?!”
“Why yes, child. Now go!”
And so, with a heavy head, a broken heart, and empty arms, I marched back up to 9th period Spanish and explained to the entire class that I was not, in fact, special and received no flowers from any beau. Word spread pretty fast by the next day…and Chris broke up with me through an email two days later.
So, since then, I’ve always hated Valentine’s Day. I do, however, celebrate February 15th – National Half-price Candy Day at all major pharmacies and Godiva. And while I find myself with the love of my life at the present time, he and I won’t even be seeing each other today.
Not because we are doing anti-Valentine’s Day or because we don’t love each other….but because our love isn’t only for a day. It’s everyday that we are together. He makes me feel loved every second of every minute of every hour of everyday. He makes me macaroni and cheese when I’m hungover and always remembers to order me a diet Coke if I get up to go to the bathroom before the waitress gets to the table. He’s the best thing in my life…and I don’t need a bull shit holiday to remind me.
So to you, Valentine’s Day, I say, “Up yours.”