“If you feel comfortable to go on a date on Valentine’s Day, we could go out then.”
I had planned on avoiding Valentine’s Day this year. Those plans involved signing the lease on my new Range Rover Evoque and going for a kind of joy ride. Heading north a ways. Away from the red mylar heart-shaped balloons and pink doillies bombarding you at every store from Duane Reade to Saks. Perhaps I’d go somewhere I could test my new car’s off-roading capabilities, or take it somewhere where I could get lost on my snowshoes (but not really lost, cuz it’s winter and that would end badly.)
My stomach churned a little bit at his text message. A Valentine’s Day first date with the most stunning and potentially most interesting man you’d ever met? This was bound to go as badly as my snowshoeing without a map plan.
I am famously neutral about Valentine’s Day. I have a knack for ending relationships ahead of the holiday, and so I can’t remember if I have had a legit Valentine. My mother often comes to my rescue, buying me necklaces, or chocolate, or shapewear to help me turn future first dates into second dates. I’ve also fulfilled the day’s requirements by going bar-hoping with plantonic male friends.
This year, my right hand in the office, my Gallery Coordinator and I agreed to be each other’s Valentine. I’m taking a comp day on Valentine’s Day, so I cheated and gave her a box of truffles on Wednesday.
The best Valentine’s present I ever got was Kasey, my Cairn Terrier. She was a grey-black puppy who I nicknamed my Blue Valentine. She liked to chase feet and sit on my lap while I sat at my desk, writing on my laptop.
“Do you think he’ll bring you flowers?” my girlfriend Sammy asked when I told her I’d accepted the invitation from the European PhD who bore an uncanny resemblance to Rupert Penry Jones.
While I’d welcome the gesture, I confessed, part of me hopes he won’t. They’d totally steal the thunder from my new car — I’m a sucker for flowers.