Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Massacre

With the upcoming Hallmark holiday on the horizon, it's fun to see how people view the day -- there's such a wide variety of attitudes about it.

I think for years, I have secretly envied couples who get dolled up and head out among the masses, just to show off that they, indeed, are in love (or like or lust). For the first time in years, Jeff made a reservation at a local hot spot and booked us a sitter. Strangely enough, I'm torn about that -- enjoying that my husband still wants to make such a gesture after all these years, but compelled to cancel it because it's just not practical, I mean come on, it's a school night!

But no matter what we do, I know it will not go down in the record books as my worst Valentine's Day ever. Somewhat because I have no expectations of romantic excellence, just because the calendar says it's February 14th,  but mostly because my worst Valentine's Day ever happened already -- in 2002.

It was going to be a big deal.

My then-boyfriend and I were going out to a new place with great reviews, in the heart of an artsy district in Los Angeles. I had received a sizable gift certificate to Macy's the Christmas before and was going to use it all to buy myself a dress that would live up to rest of the occasion. My boyfriend picked me up and we stopped off at a little place for a pre-dinner cocktail.

The night was going perfectly. Dinner was exquisite. The mood was romantic and flirtatious. As we sipped champagne and shared a dessert, he leaned over and whispered. "Let's finish up. I have a gift for you back at the house."

"Oh. My. God." I thought. This is IT.

As we drive back to my place, I can't help but let my wind wander... were my parents still awake on the east coast, I can't wait to tell them... when would we be married? My palms were sweating with excitement over what was to come -- this night would be unforgettable!

We arrive at my house and he opens the door for me. He leads me toward my bedroom and I am barely breathing. As he opens the door, I see it sitting on my bed, displayed like it's as precious as the Hope Diamond -- and pretty much the same size.

It was a boom box.

Huh? Was it there to play romantic music as he dropped to one knee?

Nope. It was the gift. That's right, the boom box WAS. THE. GIFT.

I couldn't help but admit to my disappointment, I mean I was weeping openly -- it wasn't like I was hiding it well. As I wiped the tears from my embarrassed, yet devastated eyes, he softly said.

"I'm sorry, I thought you would like it. It plays MP3 CDs."

That's right, ladies. It plays MP3 CDs.

That CD player still remains in this house, lulling the boys to sleep every night. What also remains in this house, is that story... shared every Valentine's Day as we laugh at how much life has changed since then.

What was your most memorable Valentine's Day?

1 comment:

Jules said...

February 14, 1993. That was the day my grandma died. She played a major role in shaping the person I am today. She taught me a billionty-one things about being a good person, crafting, doing things for others and how to live with dignity despite having a debilitating chronic illness.

She died in my mother's bed (we didn't want her to die in a cold hospital). However, I was in foster care at the time and persona non grata, meaning I was the only one in the family not present when she passed away at around 5 in the morning.

I received the phone call as I was waking up to head for my hair and make-up call (opening weekend of a musical I was in). It was the worst phone call of my life.

I was able to quickly visit my mom's house before my call time, where I was able to give her a final kiss goodbye.

The upside to this, one of my fellow cast members was suppose to pick up her body that morning (he worked for the funeral parlor where we had her burial plan). He did not end up picking her up as he was already in hair and make-up, but being aware of the situation, I had flowers, candy and a card from the entire cast and crew, waiting for me at my make-up table.

We dedicated the show to her that day. I almost did not show up, but I was told that the final words my grandma spoke, before going into her final coma, was how proud she was of me and my acting. Hearing that gave me the will to perform that day. Every time I perform, whether on stage or the radio, I do it mainly for her.

Valentine's day was also her sister's birthday.

It is a very bitter sweet day for me. That day would have been completely terrible and heartbreaking if it were not for the support and love from my fellow cast members and the crew.

Still to this day, I spend a week crying this time of year. I miss her terribly.