I don't like traditional Valentine's Days.
One of the reasons is because the day is named after Saint Valentine, the patron of love, lovers and friendship. Some say Feb. 14 is the anniversary of his beheading in 270 A.D. And today, we celebrate that death with cupids, arrows and chocolate-covered strawberries. I don't know about you, but 1700 years after I die, ya'll better still be in mourning, ok?
I don't like Valentine's Day because the last truly awesome one I had included a couple's skate to the sweet melodies of Celine Dion's "Because you loved me." I wore a turquoise Alaska sweatshirt (thanks Aunt Michelle) and as we held hands, my soon-to-be sixth grade boyfriend perspired the Pacific Ocean through his fingertips. (Giddy up, Danny J).
Last year, however, was almost as good.
After a recent break up with a guy I probably should've never dated anyway, I took Carrie Underwood's "Get Outta this Town" literally and headed south, south to the Big-O where fellow Creightonian editor Kelli Mutch agreed to be my date. If we we're going to be single, we could at least be lesbians about it.
So we joined forces with a few fellow Creighton alums and at Alpine Inn, ate fried chicken with our fingers and skipped the beer and drank the grease instead. Could we get some extra napkins? we asked. Sure the waitress said, handing us a roll of paper towels. Romantic.
There, the North Omaha view consisted of raccoons and feral cats eating chicken bone residue and posing for photographs in the moonlight.
From there, Kelli and I traveled to mid-town where a man had tatooed his head with an Irish flag the size of a deck of cards. He told us he was a rugby player from Council Bluffs, set to move to Colorado. He bought me drinks and I accepted. He asked to hang out sometime, and I declined. Happy, happy Valentine's Day, indeed.
So this year, I told Cowboy to knock it off with the jewelry and the candy. I'd prefer a heart-shaped pepperoni pizza from Papa Murphy's, please. Shocked but not offended, he obliged until his friends invited us over Saturday night for ribs, potatoes and Rock Band, the game where boys become superstars and girls laugh at the color-coded guitar strings and male octave ranges rivaling those of Mariah Carey herself.
Those ribs kicked the crust off my pepperoni pizza, and frankly I prefer the company of friends for Valentine's Day. Friends kick the candle out of dinner for two in a crowded restaurant so dark you can't read the menu.
But even though I don't believe in Hallmark-y weddings and holidays, I do believe in gifts.
For Valentine's Day, Cowboy gave me these:
Because nothing says "I love you" like terminally diagnosed long-stem gerber daisies.
As for me, for Valentine's Day, my gift to Cowboy was this:
Because nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" like blasting the brains of "big game" animals.
Sunday we ordered stuffed crust pizza and rented movies like "Knocked Up" and a Blockbuster exclusive called "I love hate Valentine's Day." I never watched the latter because I fell asleep during the former. The next morning, Cowboy washed the dishes. Now that my friends, is true romance, and proof Saint Valentine did not parish in vain.
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