Monday, September 15, 2008

My Non-Fairy-Tale-Like Tale

I was just reminded of an incident that happened to me back in my single days, and thought I'd share. Once upon a time...

When I was single, my dating life was practically non-existent. Particularly during my time at Ricks (College, that is). I attended Ricks for five semesters. The last was reserved for Math 101, Fit For Life, and Fine Arts 100. And a job so I could save money for BYU.

I was in the VL (virgin lips) club until that last semester. Sad, isn't it? And please do not congratulate me. I was not trying, okay? I mean at first it was fine, and I was all pure, and unwilling to kiss just any old guy (easy to be picky when there AREN'T any guys), but by the time that final semester came around, I have to admit I was feeling a little desperate.

Then, low and behold, within weeks of winter semester starting, someone actually asked me for my number. Stop the presses - THIS HAD NEVER HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE! How is that possible? you ask. How does an average looking girl who goes dancing, and plays basketball at the gym with DOZENS of guys all the time manage to repel men so completely that not one of them will ever have even the slightest desire to ask for her number? I have no idea. But we're straying off topic here. The point is, it had actually happened!

So the guy (whom I'll call Phil to protect the innocent) asks for my number. He's tall (6'5), nice looking, and a complete non-mutant as far as I could tell. So I of course handed my number over willingly - doing my best to act like it was something I did all the time.

We went out. Several times. After a week or two we kissed.

(BTW, I do not recommend kissing for the first time while standing outside in Rexburg-freezing-windchill-sub-zero-weather. Ever tried to talk when your lips are frozen? Yeah, kissing is even more difficult. It was kind of like kissing while wearing those red wax lips. Totally anti-climactic).

So now I was excited. I had a boyfriend. Unless you count Brad Johnson when I was eleven, this was a first.

And it gets even better.

It was almost February. I had already endured two non-boyfriend Valentine's Day's at Ricks College. Were my roommates and I the only ones who referred to this depressing holiday as "Single Awareness Day"? And to make matters even more pathetic, my maiden name was Valentine. How sad is that to be a Valentine and never have one?? Finally, I was going to have someone to give me some cute Valentine something, and smooch with on that stupid holiday.

The big day came. I waited in vain for flowers to be delivered, but finally it was 8:30 am and I had to go to class. No in-class deliveries, no note waiting for me at home, nothing.

Then he called.

He wanted to know if I wanted to hang out, since it was Valentine's Day, and all. He said he'd stop by after dinner.

True, I had entertained hopes he'd take me out for dinner, but whatever. The main thing was that I was going SOMEWHERE with SOMEONE. I was not going to complain.

7:00, the doorbell rings. I greet Phil at the door, and he says: "I thought we could take a walk."

Rexburg, February, freezing, no problem. No single-awareness-moping for me!

We walk the five blocks or so to Smith Park. We hold hands. We walk around the park. We talk. I'm sure we must have kissed, but for some reason I have no recollection. Then Phil starts telling me the following.

"I was at the grocery store today, and I almost bought you one of those roses they have at the register for $1. I actually picked it up. But then I thought about my last girlfriend. I went all out and spent money buying her a dozen red roses. Then we broke up. It just seemed like such a waste. I don't think material things should be part of a relationship, so I decided not to get you the rose."

Okay. This was fine. At this point, I was perfectly fine with the whole thing. I honestly didn't care that much whether he got me a flower, card, box of chocolates, or anything. I admit I was slightly bummed, but whatever. At least I wasn't alone.

Then he continued:

"I did, however, want to get you something, because I think you're really great. So... Here."

What was it? What did my romantic boyfriend give me? What sweet token of his love did he deem more meaningful than the $1 rose?

A green sweetheart. It said "You're #1".

Am I the only one who thinks that this was just wrong??? IF you're going to give your girlfriend one single sweetheart for Valentine's Day rather than the whole box, SURELY you could find one more suitable than "You're #1"??!!

How about "You're Sweet" or "Cutie" or even "Hug Me"?? Any of these could have been seen as a sweet, small, yet meaningful gesture that showed his affection, and illustrated his feelings.

And it was green.

Since when does the color green have anything to do with anything on Valentine's Day? If it had been pink, or even white with pink writing, that would have been something.

It was painful. I would like to add, however, that I handled the situation as graciously as possible, and even thanked him for his "thoughtful" gift. I probably even gave him a kiss, and said something I totally didn't mean, like "thank you so much! This is soooo sweet!" I even distinctly remember trying desperately to read some unwritten, secret meaning in the message that could in any way be interpreted as romantic.

Nothing came to me.

And I never had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day again. The next year I was in between relationships, and the year after that I was (miraculously) married. That stupid green sweetheart is the only token of Valentine's Day affection I ever received while my last name actually was "Valentine".

Is this just a little sad and pathetic, or is it just me? It just seems to me that there must have been at least a hundred other non-materialistic ways he could have chose to say "Happy Valentine's Day, girlfriend whose last name actually IS Valentine."

Without coming across as being a totally pathetic/apathetic boyfriend. Especially since I happen to know he actually really liked me.

Or maybe I'm just being really shallow, and I should be way more appreciative of my one Valentine-boyfriend experience. You tell me.


Anonymous said...

I AM LAUGHING SO HARD RIGHT NOW! But not at your expense -- no, never that! I'm laughing because I can RELATE! VL club and all!

Remember those experiences you had a hundred years ago when wise, sage mentors would tell you, "Someday you'll look back on this and laugh!"? Well, THAT's why I'm laughing! I HATE VALENTINE'S DAY! I wrote about it once, too -- check Feb's archives on my blog -- but to the lame, cheapskate boyfriends who ruin the most romantic day of the year with just one, single, thoughtless gesture, all I can say is I pity the fools!

*MARY* said...

That really is thee most depressing story I've ever read and I've read The Giving Tree.
His name really was Phil wasn't it? That sounds like a real Phil thing to do.

Jen said...
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Jen said...
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by AnnieValentine said...

Pu-theh-tic. You're #1? Like, as in a soccer jersey? Or perhaps and oldest child? Or maybe he was trying to tell you nicely that somewhere out there, there was actually a #2 you just didn't know about. Maybe her heart was gray and said, "You're #2, Sorry Babe".

Oh yeah, those deleted comments were mine. I posted this twice as Jen (since I like to get into her account and mess with things).

Laura said...

I would have thrown it at his head and told him to find himself another #1 hot kisser.

Hopefully, assuming he found some sad chick to marry, he has learned a few lessons!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hi Jen, thanks for checking out my blog and making a comment.

I loved this post. ha ha So funny. And I went to (Ricks college) too, back when it was RICKS.

Kelly said...

Oh that stinker! I don't have any recollection of you telling me that story ever! I can't remember what I was doing that Valentine's Day though, hummm, must not have been that great.

Jen said...

Yeah Kel, that Valentine's day REALLY stunk for you. That's when you were juggling Ryan, Alan, and Chad. Right about the time they all showed up to see you simultaneously. I think at LEAST one of them sent you flowers that year.

You'll get no sympathy here.

And it's okay that you don't remember, because you already have a license for forgetting everything that ever happened until I remind you.

Although that Valentine's Day was definitely worth remembering! Glad I could remind you:)

Melissa Bastow said...

Hey, I think you're #1.

When I was in college my roommate and I took ourselves on a date. It was great. I ate an entire greesy burger and also burped a lot. Because I didn't have to worry about impressing anyone. But my last name was Valentine - because yeah, that would kind of stink on the day of supposed love...

Kellie Buckner said...

What is it with the guys at Ricks? Very few dating stories from there for me because, like you, just didn't get asked out much. Funny story though, it reminded me of my years at Ricks.

Kelly said...

Oh YEAH- I did totally forget-no wonder I didn't know what happened with..Phil. I still don't exactly remember how that all ended up though, who'd I go out with? Boy, I have a bad memory...

Kelly said...

Hey, it is coming back to me now. Didn't Stephanie walk in and say something? That was really horrible, but actually also a funny story in it's own right. I still don't remember anything else that happened after that though. You should commiserate with Bryce, he is always telling me I have a bad memory.

The Raybould Family said...

Sure makes for a great story! I could probably tell a good one.. but I'm afraid the boy it involves actually secretly reads my blog. I wouldn't even be a little suprised.

Really, though? He couldn't splurge on the $1 rose??? I mean, it's a dollar!!! Sounds like he was a bit weird?

I also laughed because I took all three of those classes and I have lived in Rexburg for the last almost 5 years. I'm now stuck, as I am married to a local farmer. I hate the freezing cold windy winters. I understand about your lips not being able to move or feel them. Also, where did you live? In what apartment building?

Carol said...

I am seriously amused right now.

Maybe the green was warming you up for St. Patty's day seeming as it's just a month on from Valentines?

No, you're right. Unacceptable.

Jen said...

I lived in the very best complex in Rexburg, of course - Green Brier.

Barbaloot said...

I just can't get past taking a walk in Rexburg during the winter!! If I were you, I'd be more mad that he actually made me go outside than giving you a green candy. Although-he could have at least given you a white or pink one since they taste the best, no?

The Raybould Family said...

haha. I lived in 3 complex's and Green Briar wasn't one of them. Although, I do like to park on the street by it as it's most times as close as I can get to the Clark.

Lisa said...

Green Breir? I can't remember where that was. . . I was a Dorm girl. So first I have to say, I, too, had my first boyfriend/kiss while at Ricks during a winter semester (let's see, it would have been '95--YIKES!!) Oh, the memories!!

I can't believe this guy! One green sweetheart!?! Good thing he didn't give you a whole box, so your relationship didn't go all materialistic! Sheesh! To be a Valentine all your life and never to have been SOMEONE's valentine! *sigh*

Stephanie said...

That's funny. I think I vaguely remember this because I got the recap. So, I'm thinking either it was Trent or Bryan (Brian) however you spell his name. But I do remember you going out with another guy you met on the b-ball court and he had glasses and a "physics major" look to him and I'm thinking to myself that his name could have very well been Phil!!!

Skeem's said...

Okay that guy was seriously retarded. If he didn't want to spend money or buy "material" things, he could have at least made you a card or something. Even though you are #1 he shouldn't have given you that on v-day, pretty lame! Sorry for that horrible expierince, at least you got some kissin out of it!!

Natalie said...

I'm baaacckk- and cracking up at this non-fairy-tale-like tale of yours, by the way! Too funny! And that poor horny toad... How did the kids take it?

Kimberly said...


Sounds like your single self had a lot in common with my single self! I have a rather sad dating history too.

I'm sure Phil was nice and all, but a bit lacking, n'est-ce pas?

I say embrace the fact that you've got a giggle worthy story to share. It doesn't have to be sad, it can just be funny!

Jen said...

I have felt your pain: Mike the Math Lab Stalker, Dating Attention Deficit Disorder Dan, Tall Paul, Dave the Tickler, and I still have only kissed the man I married, whom I did not meet in my four years at the BYU.

Laura said...

My dating history wasn't as bleak as yours Jen, but somehow I was always lacking a boy a Valentine's day, too. It had to be our last name, it must have been intimidating to the boys who actually realized it should be a special day for us. The rest of them just must have been clueless. My first Valentine on Valentines Day, besides from Mom and Dad (Thanks Mom and Dad!!!!) was from my husband after we were married. So even though I got kissed way before you (haha) you at least got SOMETHING for Valentine's day once before you were married.