Owner of a lonely heart

By the

February 1, 2001

After the last time I wrote, one of my professors described my article as having one of the “eternal themes of youth.” My friends give me a hard time because I have yet to write anything without mentioning my ex-girlfriend Annie. To please my professor and to satisfy my friends, I thought about writing how valuable it is to spend eight weeks of a course called “Contemporary U.S. Foreign Policy” studying the Cold War. Then I remembered Valentine’s Day was two weeks away, and I decided that would be a much better topic.

Valentine’s Day is one of my least favorite days of the year. Actually, that is not true. (Several times recently I have been called a pathological liar, and if enough people call you a horse, you better get a saddle.) I hate the two weeks that come before Valentine’s Day. You know, that period when a lot of girls and some guys talk about how they either do not have a valentine or how they don’t know what to do for their valentines.

Some people wish we could get back to the “pure” Valentine’s Day of our youth. You know, the days when we all made little pouches out of red construction paper and our teachers sent home a class list of names to make sure we got a valentine for everyone. Then on the big day we went around to everyone’s desk and shoved our little Transformers, My Little Pony or Michael Jordan cards into the pouches. I was never a huge fan of that; I would basically feel all the envelopes I got to see if they had any of those little heart candies that said things like “Love” or “Be mine.” (Now they say “Fax me.”) Anyway, if they didn’t have candy, I probably didn’t open them. Valentine’s Day was pretty simple then, now it is a little more complicated. I would now like to offer a few tidbits I have learned as Valentine’s Day has gotten more complicated.

My first year in high school I had a huge crush on Hillary Hawkins. This was one of those things that had been going on since sixth grade. I remember Hillary saying how sad she was because she knew that there was not one guy who was going to send her flowers on Valentine’s Day. Well, I had this great idea, but it required two people. So I got this guy named Josh who was on the baseball team with me to go and buy her flowers. We took them by her house and gave them to her. On the card it said, “Hillary, you are right; there is not one guy who would buy you flowers, but two!”

She was so excited. However, I had made a critical error: I knew Hillary had a crush on Josh, and, let’s be honest, a lot of girls did. Josh was the star of the baseball team?he hit home runs; I coached first base. I should have known that something was wrong. And so was the start of a beautiful relationship between Josh and Hillary. I guess the moral of the story is that you should not encourage your crush’s crush to get flowers for your crush on Valentine’s Day.

By senior year in high school I had learned a lot. I could do Valentine’s Day. I was on top of the world.

Right. So, I was dating this girl whom I thought strongly resembled Jennifer Love Hewitt, my hero at the time because of her great personality and sense of humor. We were having problems, I guess, but I figured Valentine’s Day would fix them. That was the year that Titanic came out. Neither of us had seen it. What a great date movie. Can you see how much I had learned? So I called her a week in advance and asked if she wanted to go to dinner and see Titanic. She said she did.

The day before our date, I saw her and asked if we were still on. She said, “Oh yeah, my mom’s friend asked if I could baby sit tomorrow and I said yes.”

In my head I thought, “Are you kidding me, America?”

She proceeded to tell me that if we saw the noon showing that would be okay. Right. So I picked her up. We saw the movie, and much the same way the ship went down, so did our relationship. The next week I broke up with her. I guess the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t date someone just because they resemble your favorite celebrity.

My first year in college I really knew what I was doing; I had Valentine’s Day down cold. The girl I was dating was still in high school back in California. Now to be honest, (I am a pathological liar, after all) this girl was young. She was 15. She was in her first year of high school and I was in my last when we started dating. I convinced her that it would be a good idea for Annie to come visit me over her spring break. Because her mom really liked and trusted me, she was OK with the idea.

My travel agent helped me book her a flight. I happened to be home around Valentine’s Day for my sister’s wedding?Annie was so excited when she saw the plane ticket from LAX to Dulles. However, there was only one problem: Annie’s spring break was in April; Valentine’s Day was in February.

You guessed it: She broke up with me at the end of February. And, yes, those airplane tickets were nontransferable (no one else can use them) and nonrefundable. I took up poker to try to pay off the $300 I was out. She never got to use the tickets, which I guess is better than if I had bought her jewelry because she could have kept that. Right. I guess the moral of the story is that it was time to stop dating high school girls and to never buy jewelry for Valentine’s Day.

Anyway, I mean I guess I like Valentine’s Day. I could have written about the good Valentine’s Days I’ve had. Actually, no, I couldn’t have?that would have been way too short. But, to conclude, good luck everybody and have a happy Valentine’s Day.

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