When I was in high school I worked a job as a deli clerk at one of the larger grocery store chains in our city. I sliced up meat, weighed it, and put it in a little cellophane wrapper tucked in an adorable little package with a sticker price label keeping it closed. This job managed to seriously work its way into my psyche, because I occasionally still dream about standing at that meat slicer, pushing it back and forth, cutting the mortadella (that's a fancy Italian bologna/sausage type luncheon meat that I have yet to see anywhere in Texas) paper thin for the pickiest Italian ladies you will ever see.
"No, it must be thinner! I need to see through it!" My eighteen year old self would think, "lady, you aren't supposed to see through meat," but I would just smile and adjust the slicer and somehow manage to slice that stuff thinner.
The reason I bring this job up is this is the place where I learned why Valentine's Day is pure evil.
Jay was a coworker - he was a bag boy actually - on the side anyhow. During the day he worked as a youth worker at a local high school. Jay was one of the few people I knew who could talk to anyone and make them feel special and interesting, and he brought a giant tray of chocolate covered strawberries to work on Valentine's Day, to share with all the women there in the break room. Jay was just a really nice guy who liked everybody and everybody liked him.
While we were eating some of these treats before our shifts started, he explained to me how Valentine's Day was an awful day at the school where he worked during the day. A lot of girls were emotional messes because all the popular girls around them were getting gifts and cards and balloons and flowers from their boyfriends, while some of the less popular girls were getting - well - nothing. High school and junior high school are hard enough without a day where if you don't get a special present from a special someone you just feel - crummy.
So poor Jay had to spend most of Valentine's Day trying to cheer up emotional tweens and teenagers who felt that their self worth was measured by the number of flowers and boxes of chocolate they got.
For me, I usually had a boyfriend and eventually a husband on Valentine's Day, so it wasn't that I didn't have a special someone that could lavish me with gifts. It's just that they almost never lived up to my ridiculous ideas of romance - since even though I hate that I am admitting this - I probably have become a victim of this same commercialized hyped up silliness that the poor girls at the high school had believed.
The truth is, there has been one Valentine's Day that has lived up to this ideal in my mind - so I do have to give my husband credit, but it was in 2003, and that was 8 years ago, and it was so amazing that I guess he just thought it would be enough romance to cover the next decade of Valentine's Days.
This year, Valentine's Day was on a Monday, which is the busiest and most stressful day of the week for him right now, so I can see how it would be difficult to come up with something to top 2003 this year.
He did bring home a forty ounce bag of Reece's Miniature peanut butter cups and two pounds of strawberry licorice though. Plus a rose that was already reduced by fifty percent since there were only a few hours of Valentine's Day left.
I guess I will always have 2003 and enough Twizzlers to feed a small army.
Your decade is almost up, sweetheart.