A Holiday of Love That Turned Into a Lovely Disaster


Valentine’s Day had always served as my excuse to go out and buy the ridiculous, heart-and-ruffle-adorned outfits I’d be shunned for wearing on any other day of the year.

So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day last year, I decided to go all out. The day was going to be perfect, I told myself as I pulled on a thin satin dress with a pink and white heart pattern, a pair of flimsy tights and my favorite heels. After all, why shouldn’t it be?

I was enjoying myself in a new relationship, was already a pro at laying on the sappy goodness and had planned the day out from start to finish.

But already, the pounding in my head from the previous night of pre-Valentine’s day partying (note: not a good idea if you have a date the next day) was growing from a somewhat bearable throb to a mind-numbing, fist-against-door banging. I headed out to Starbucks to grab a quick cup of their strongest coffee, convincing myself that some painkillers and caffeine would be the quick cure I so desperately needed.

So maybe my day wouldn’t be entirely perfect, I thought, but this one little setback was not going to destroy it. Little did I know, that was only to be the first in a string of cruel jokes the universe was to play on me.

As I sat in Starbucks, head in hands, I glanced at my cell phone every .05 seconds. I started to worry. What had happened to my date? She was always the type to arrive early and sprawl across my couch with a trashy celebrity tabloid as I perfected my eyeliner and changed outfits five times.

An hour later, she arrived frazzled and apologetic, red roses in hand. Apparently, a little boy was separated from his family on the subway when the doors closed before he was able to leave his car. Frantic, the family alerted MTA officials and the train was shut down at the next stop so the boy could be found and reunited with his parents.

I assured her that everything was going to be wonderful, even though we had missed the movie we were intending to start our date off with. We decided to catch the next showing of the movie, “Valentine’s Day,” since I’m the most obnoxious Taylor Swift fan who ever lived and my date was ready to give in to just about any request for being so late.

But it seemed that everyone else had the same idea we did. By the time we walked into the theater, every seat was filled.

My date and I ended up creating a makeshift seat from our heavy winter coats. Cuddling next to a cute girl in the back of the theater turned out to be romantic in a middle school type of way, but the movie was so terrible that any chance the day had of making a comeback was quickly lost in the bad acting and poorly written script.

We left annoyed and half-starved, our clothes creased and wrinkled from the waist down. I rummaged through the ridiculously large tote bag that could swallow me whole for the directions to the sushi restaurant I had scrawled down on a Post-It the night before.

Did I put it in my bag or did I leave it stuck to one of the tables at the party last night? Truth be told, I had no idea.

“I know exactly where this place is,” I lied, hoping she wouldn’t notice the twitch in my right eye that seemed to occur only when telling a blatant untruth. “Let’s just keep walking and it should be less than five blocks away.”

Well, it wasn’t. My legs had turned numb from the cold, my feet throbbed in my heels and my stomach let out monstrous growls. My bouquet of roses was wilting away in my hands, the perfect symbol of our failing date.

Two blocks later, I noticed an adorable little café. It was nothing fancy, but it would have to do since I realized I couldn’t manage to walk another block without my feet falling off.

And that was probably the best decision I made all day. We managed to score a coveted window seat and noshed on a host of mini sandwiches and red-and-pink frosted cupcakes.

After we quieted our hungry stomachs, we were even able to joke around a bit about our Valentine’s Day gone horribly awry.

So maybe I didn’t have the greeting-card-worthy day I could brag to my friends about, but it wasn’t all bad. For the most part, I’ve been keeping the planning to a minimum while trying to make the best of the not-so-great situations life throws our way every now and then. And she’s learned to never, ever trust my sense of direction.