Get your fingers ready (heh, dirty!) to do some voting, kids because I've chosen the Valentine Schmalentine finalists. I know I said I was going to choose three great stories and three stories from hell. I kind of lied. Well, not really. I actually narrowed it down to FOUR great stories and THREE experiences that, shall we say, left a lot to be desired.
Oh, and a shout-out to "rt" who obviously thought he was a shoo-in with his "The best was the night I met Mike Bloomberg at a bar in Chelsea and woke up the next morning in his immense apartment being served warm bread and hot coffee... or maybe that was just a dream." story. Nice try, buddy. As a consolation prize, I'll give you the fabled ten points for working a Bloomberg reference into your entry. But that's ALL you get, mister. NO soup for you.
I have to confess that I had a hard time going through these entries and picking finalists. All the sweet stories really were sweet, and all the bad experiences were really and truly heinous, so I did the best I could and chose the stories that struck a personal chord with me. After all, it's my web site, so I get to do crazy stuff like MAKE MY OWN DECISIONS and hope that everybody still feels loved and not left out if I didn't pick you. I still love you. I hope you know that. C'mere... let's have a cuddle.
AHEM. Here are your finalists for the ":::sigh::: That's So Sweet" Award:
My best Valentines was two years ago. I hadn't started to date my boyfriend yet (that was still about two months away), but he was heavy in pursuit. We were having a fundraiser at work. For $5 you bought a small stuffed animal and balloons and then we would deliver it for you. When I was out of the office, he came over and ordered one for me. This was a HUGE deal, because at the time, I worked in an all female battalion (we are both U.S. Marines) and he hated to go over there by himself! He made his purchase and also added a card that he bought. My Marines said he looked very uneasy and nervous when he was there...very cute!
Valentines Day came and near the end of the day, my Valentine was delivered. However, my Marines had mistakenly delivered it to the Battalion Commander's house (that is my boss!). Once they realized their mistake, they went back and got it and brought it to me. When I told him about it later, he was horrified! Especially because my Battalion Commander had read the card.
I thought it was sweet that he had done that for me. But the best part was yet to come. On my way home that night, I was walking up to my apartment and saw something sticking out of the door. When I walked up to it, I realized it was a card. Another card from him. He had run by my house and left me a card. It sounds silly, but I had never felt so special as I ddi that day. To have him to go that little bit of trouble for me, it was great. It was at that point that I realized I was falling for him and like I said before, two months later we started dating. In April, we will have been together two years and they have been some of the best years ever.
Okay, I have to call him now and tell him I love him... :)
I am not a big fan of Valentine's Day. I feel I am far too cool to be celebrating a mundane Hallmark holiday. However, a few years ago my husband asked me what I wanted for Valentine's Day. I scoffed. He asked again, so I told him that I needed some socks, white socks of the athletic variety. He rolled his eyes, and I assumed that was the end of the discussion.
Fast forward to V-Day. I come home from work where I am greeted by said hubby who is having trouble disguising his amusement. I enter our bedroom and perched atop our dresser is a large crystal vase filled with SOCK FLOWERS. He took athletic socks, rolled them into the shape of a rose and attached them to skewers. I could not stop laughing. Then I could not stop crying! His creativity and sense of humor put an end to my Valentine's Day cynicism. Best Valentine's Day Ever!!
My husband and I were engaged when he got into law school in New Orleans. We arrived there and moved in just two weeks before Hurricane Katrina. When the storm hit, we had to leave everything and evacuate.
After months of being displaced and having to find temporary work, we were able to get back to our house in January. We tried to pick up the pieces and make do in a destroyed city. My husband's class had to make up their whole first year in just one semester... needless to say, it was one of the most stressful years of our lives.
It was so hard to find a job in New Orleans when we came back, so I took a position as a legal secretary, which turned out to be a thankless, emotionally exhausting job (I worked for extremely mean, unpleasant people). I was sad to realize that I was going to have to work on Valentine's Day, and I learned that it was going to be a particularly brutal day - multiple filings. I went to sleep as usual the night before, and he stayed up later than I did (which was pretty standard, since he had to study).
When I woke up the next morning and went downstairs to get my coffee, I opened the fridge and saw that he had stayed up late making dozens of homemade chocolate truffles for me. He had spent all that time doing something so lovely for me, even though he was stressed from school. I almost cried right then and there.
Since then, every Valentine's Day he stays up late and makes homemade chocolate truffles for me to discover when I wake up the next morning, and we have a wonderful breakfast of truffles together!
Today J-P and I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up a few things for our Valentine's Day dinner, because we don't eat out on V-Day as a general rule. As we headed back toward the fish counter, a very perky employee beckoned us to come kiss a fish (yes, kiss a fish), for which we would receive, in exchange, a lobster tail. FOR FREE. JUST FOR KISSING A FISH. There were lots of people standing around gawking at the fish, but they were all squicky about actually kissing the thing. But not me, people, NOT ME. I have no such hang-ups. To my mind, the act of kissing a fish is a minor price to pay for a free package of Ho-Hos, let alone a FREE LOBSTER TAIL. So I marched right up, pulled my hair back, and laid a fat one on a wolf fish named Scott Baiowolf (you can't say those Whole Foods people don't try).
It was really no big deal -- slimy and cold, yes, but I've certainly kissed worse. But then I got greedy, and decided I was not happy with just one lobster tail. Since there were two of us, we had the opportunity to score not just one, but TWO free lobster tails. After some cajoling and the promise of sexual favors, I convinced J-P to kiss the fish.
So now we have two lobster tails just waiting to be devoured, perhaps in a cream sauce over fresh pasta, hmmmm? But I know what you're probably thinking -- hey Melissa, isn't J-P allergic to lobster?! Ummmm. Why yes. What a good memory you have! J-P is allergic to lobster! Which I guess just means more lobster for me. *Shrugs* OOPSIE!
But really, in all seriousness, I am one lucky broad. I mean, J-P kissed a fish to win a lobster tail that HE CAN'T EVEN EAT, all for me! What a guy.
And now, time to vote for the worst. And let me take a minute to say that all the bad experiences people had were really, truly awful. Fires, tequila, cheaters, abusers... so, for those of you who dumped the mayor or mayoress of asshole city, good on ya. I encourage everyone to go back and read all the stories that were submitted in the previous post, and if any of those psychos sounds like someone you're dating, RUN! None of you hot, sexy chickens deserve to be treated that way. Okay, public service announcement done.
Here are the three finalists for the "Cuts Like a Knife" Award for worst Valentine's Day experience:
The worst one that stands out in my mind is the boyfriend who gave me a Fry Daddy for Valentine's Day. I had never fried food for him. I rarely, if ever, eat fried food aside from french fries. And yet, here was a Fry Daddy. (A month later I dumped him. Two months later, when he figured out that I was serious and I had really dumped him, he turned up drunk and crying on my doorstep. I definitely made the right decision.)
The worst Valentine's Day I had was the year I was 18. It should have been a good day: I had arranged to look at an apartment that I desperately wanted to rent, and I had a late-afternoon coffee-date planned with a guy I had met the week before, and about whom I had high hopes.
I went to the apartment. I loved the apartment. It was in the neighborhood I wanted, it was within my price range, it was clean, it was sunny. I wanted the apartment. I raced around town getting a cashier's check for the first 3 months' rent, getting my mother's co-signature on the lease (give me a break; I was a college freshman), and then dashing over to the real estate agent's office. At which point I was told that the owner of the apartment had decided to rent it to his nephew.
The real estate agent's office was under construction, and after I left I realized I had gotten something in my eye. I rubbed and rinsed and rubbed and rinsed, but it kept getting worse. Finally, I went to the hospital emergency room, which was full of people who had been gutshot, or whose noses were held on with duct tape. Me, I had something in my eye. I was not popular in the waiting room. After about 3 hours they managed to remove the piece of plaster dust that had embedded itself in my cornea.
There were no cell phones at the time, but I did manage to call the restaurant where I was due to meet Mr. Right, and explain that I was stuck at the hospital. I got there about an hour late, and -- what a prince! -- he had waited for me. He bought me a glass of wine. Life was good. And then he told me that he was married, that he and his wife were looking for a mistress that they could both share, and that they had decided I was the girl for them.
I spent the evening eating popcorn and watching "Now, Voyager" with my mother.
My worst Valentine's day ever was last year. At aproximately 1am on February 13th I felt sick. 5 hours later (and God only knows how many trips to the bathroom) I really thought I was going to die. I had not been this sick in over a decade and the fact that I could feel where my kidneys were and I couldn't even keep the smallest sip of water down made me wonder how long I could go without having to go to the ER.
I had been dating a guy for about 6 months. He was really great so far, but I wasn't sure if I should call him. Finally at 7am I caved, called him and woke him up, crying about how sick I was. He told me he would come over and check on me. So about 45 minutes later he shows up at the door with a few bottles of Sprite and Gatorade, some Saltine crackers, and a basket of old 80s movies and an original Nintendo. Love, right?
He also immediately threw this stuff on the floor when he walked into my apartment and bee-lined for the bathroom. He, alas, had also contracted this gut wrenching illness. I pulled the sofa bed out and we continued to be sick and miserable together for the next 48 hours, napping, watching the Westminster dog show, and doing shots of Gatorade out of some old St. Patrick's Day shot glasses a friend had given me.
By the second day, we were able to hold small amounts of food down, but nothing complex. I had to have a coworker drop off some soup and jello cups for sustenance. She handed them through the door and I never saw her face. She didn't want to get sick and I don't blame her.
So our first Valentine's day dinner consisted of chicken and stars and cherry jello.
We're still together and if any good could come out of it, it was that our infirm time together helped him realize that he loved me. I mean, you can't be that sick and disgusting in front of just *anyone* right?
The polls are open until 12 noon on Thursday, February 21st. I'll announce the winners on Friday, February 22nd. And, I'll resume our regular programming with a very special food-related post on Saturday the 23rd -- a post which not only involves something known for its spiciness and something known for its heat, but also FOOD! Confused? You'll just have to wait until Saturday to find out what the hell I'm blathering on about.