Okay, so before I start this story, I have to point out that it really wasn’t that traumatizing. I mean, yeah, for me it sort of was, but now that I’m older, I can look back and wonder why this was so important to me. But that doesn’t change the fact that I still don’t like Valentine’s Day… and it’s all this story’s fault.
Here’s what went down.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I had just started dating my very first boyfriend, D. Obviously, I was really excited to finally have a Valentine’s Day that involved more than just roses and chocolate from my dad (although, looking back…). D was romantic, so I pictured bouquets of flowers being sent to me during class, boxes of chocolates waiting by my door and a diamond necklace in a pretty little package. You know, the normal things 15-year-olds do for each other.
In my school, we had Candy-Grams every year on Valentine’s Day. You could buy a Candy-Gram for $1 for someone and they were delivered to the class at the beginning of every period (picture the candy cane grams scene in Mean Girls and you’ll see what I’m getting at). I figured D would get me a few Candy-Grams and the day before, I wondered how many I would get… I settled on a minimum of four but was open to the possibility of more than that.
Um, let’s just say things didn’t go as planned. First period came along, and a student came into the class to give out bags of Candy-Grams. I smiled, waiting for mine… and it never appeared. Second period happened, and still no Candy-Gram. During homeroom, my friends ate their chocolate and asked me why I wasn’t eating mine. “Um… I didn’t get one. Yet,” I said.
By fifth period, I still hadn’t gotten one and I was pissed. Everyone in my classes knew I was dating D and everyone kept asking why he hadn’t bought me one. Every time they asked, I tried to act nonchalant on the outside, like “Oh, we’re so above Candy-Grams”, but on the inside, I wanted to start crying. Every other girl who had a boyfriend had gotten a Candy-Gram… except for me.
The worst part was that all of my single friends had bought each other Candy-Grams, but no one had bought me one because they figured I would get a bunch from my boyfriend. During lunch, my best friend was mortified and tried to explain, “I’m sorry, J,” she said, her cheeks pink. “I really thought D would get you some.”
Well, D never got me one. At the beginning of 9th period, I waited, thinking maybe this was a joke and he had gotten me some for the end of the day to surprise me. But the Candy-Gram dude came and left, and I was still empty-handed. That was it. I hid in the bathroom and cried.
At the end of the day, D met me at my locker as usual. “Happy Valentine’s Day, babe!” he chirped, like everything in the world was fine and happy.
“Happy Valentine’s Day? Happy Valentine’s Day?!” I seethed. “Are you kidding me? If you don’t want to be with me anymore, you could at least just tell me.” Then I ran out of the school crying. What can I say, I have a flair for the dramatic.
When D called me frantically trying to figure out what he had done wrong, I confronted him about the Candy-Grams like a sort of normal person. He seemed confused, saying that he had no idea the Candy-Grams were such a big deal, and if he’d known, he would have gotten me some. The apology barely helped… I was embarrassed. The whole school had seen him publicly diss me! It sucked.
Ever since then, I’ve learned to manage my expectations for this holiday. I know it sounds like a silly story, but at the time, it wasn’t silly to me. It made me realize a lot of things and also made me hold a grudge against the holiday forever.
Here’s why I dislike Valentine’s Day: there are so many expectations, especially for gifts. But now, in my mind, V-Day is a day dedicated to celebrating the love you have for someone awesome. I feel like it’s turned into a day dedicated to who can get the sweetest gift from their BF, and that’s not what it should be. (Also, I was a waitress for 7 years, and as this is one of the busiest restaurant days of the year, it’s never been super fun.)
Since my Worst Valentine’s Day Ever, I’ve stopped putting so much pressure on my boyfriends to get me amazing gifts and I’ve started viewing it as just a day where I can enjoy them as people. Yeah, I like to get some candy (because I like candy!), but the holiday just isn’t something I’m big on.
How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? What are your bad V-Day stories? Would you be upset if this happened to you? Tell me in the comments.