If you’re just here for
the free goods the contest, scroll to the bottom. You totally don’t need to read my tale of woe to enter. You just need to have your own.
First off, if you missed the post about my trip to the firehouse, keep reading past this one. (If you want. That’s not really a command. I just posted it late in the day on a Sunday, so it was outside my regular schedule.)
Ha! I just said “regular schedule.”
I’m going to stretch the memory banks for this one, guys, because it was over ten years ago, and my description of the guy might be an amalgamation of several random guys from my early twenties.
But you won’t know the difference, so here we go.
So imagine Valentine’s Day 1999. I was single, young, a free spirit. Just like everyone else who was single on Valentine’s Day, I was not exactly feeling the love, if you catch my drift. So I did my two favorite things, alone.
I went to the movies, and afterward, I went to the bookstore.
There used to be this huge Borders bookstore in Towson, just north of Baltimore, and boy, that place was my stomping ground in the years following high school. It was three stories high, full of books and couches and even a cafe on the top floor.
So I found my book, and I went up to the cafe to have a coffee and a snack.
I’m sitting at the table, reading my book, eating, pretty content really. Yeah, I was single on Valentine’s Day, but life didn’t suck. It was okay.
Then a guy stopped by the table and said, “May I join you?”
I tend to remember things like they happened in a movie. Kind of like: His hand would fall on the edge of the table, and I would look up slowly from my book to find this movie-star cute boy standing there, all blue eyes and dark hair (yeah, I have a type). End scene.
Now, in reality, he wasn’t movie-star cute. He was okay. I remember he had long hair (Hey, it was the nineties. Thank the grunge movement for that.), and a nice smile, and I think he was wearing glasses. I was just so startled that a guy was asking if he could join me. It’s not like there weren’t a dozen empty tables around. Bookstores aren’t what you’d call “hopping” on Valentine’s Day.
But I told him yes, he could sit down, and he did. Then he struck up a conversation.
Now I don’t remember everything we talked about. Our books, I’m sure. I think he was reading something completely outside my wheel house, like a biography or a book on migrant farmers or maybe something by John Steinbeck.
I do remember that he led of with a statement like, “I saw you were alone on Valentine’s Day, and I am too, and nobody should be alone on Valentine’s Day.”
I ate it up. Come on. You would too.
I remember he was in school, and very kind, and he kept leaning in against the table and making conspiratorial comments about the other people in the cafe. He was cute. Funny. Engaging. I was having a nice time.
Inside, I kept screaming to myself, “This could be fate! We’ll tell people we met on Valentine’s Day! What a cute story to tell our children one day!”
And then he took his last bite of pie, set down his fork, and said, “Well, it was really nice talking to you.”
And with that, he stood up and left.
Now, we didn’t have all these nifty acronyms when I was twenty-one. The only one we had was LOL, and I sure as hell wasn’t doing that.
My expression was more likely a combination of OMG and WTF.
I mean, seriously, he just stood up and left. It was like a complete 180. He’d been sitting there bantering, chatting, being flirty, the whole nine yards. And then he stood up and left.
More than ten years later, I’m still not sure what that was. A Valentine’s Day hit-and-run? Did he think he was being kind to the poor dorky girl? Because I’m sure I would have enjoyed another thirty minutes with my novel a lot more.
That’s my story. I’m sure you guys have some. Let’s hear ’em.
Wait! Let’s do a contest! I’ve never done a blog contest before.
In the comments section, tell me your worst Valentine’s Day story. I’ll pick the best three and post them on the blog tomorrow, and everyone can vote.
Winner gets a $15 Amazon gift certificate. Use it to buy a copy of the incredible book Anna and the French Kiss. Or anything you want, really.
Deadline is whenever I wake up tomorrow! (Psst. That’s 5am EST Feb. 15, 2011)
Let’s hear the anti-love!
(I know some employers/schools block blog comments, so if you can’t comment on the blog from where you are, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post it on my Facebook “Like” page, or write it on a Post-it and stick it to my windshield, or hire a plane to skywrite it…)