The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Ghosts of Valentine’s Past, pt.1

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I was digging through an old journal a few weeks ago and stumbled across a long piece about a pair of Valentine’s Day adventures I had some years ago.  I re-read them and thought it would be good to post them here in honor of the day of love and romance, regardless of how things work out.  I’m trying to preserve the original journal as much as possible, so this might look a little rough.  ~Jeff

April 9, 2009

For whatever reason today, or last night actually as I pulled into Wal-Greens to buy cold and allergy medicine, I realized that on two occasions I had first dates on Valentine’s Day.  The reason I thought of this is because both times before the date I stopped by Wal-Greens to buy my date a card and some candy, and both times it was the same candy (I had remembered the candy from the first date in 2003, and thought it was a good idea then…  good enough to repeat with someone totally different six years later).  I had bought one of those plastic heart-shaped boxes with a dozen or so Ferrero Rocher chocolates inside.  They’re simple, elegant, the candy is delicious, and it’s perfectly priced for a first date.  The card, on the other hand, is much more complicated.  You can’t go too sexual with it (and there are plenty of cards at Wal-Greens slathered in sexual innuendo) because you don’t want to come across as some kinda first-date Lothario.  But you  don’t want to be all friendly handshake nice-guy, either, because it’s a date and you want to have some sparks to see if any fires will ignite.  So picking the card takes lots more time.

Anyhow, both dates took place at a bar downtown, and I just happened to be downtown on Valentine’s Day, so why not have a date?  I sat with my date both times and had a few drinks and gently batted pieces of conversation back and forth.  We tried each other out for size (intellectually) and walked around a little bit in our minds.  After a few hours, we called it a night.  She went her way with a nice, perfectly appropriate card and some delicious Valentine-themed candy, and I went my way thinking it was kind of nice to have a date on Valentine’s Day, and it was even nicer of me still to bring a gift for my date.

The story could end here and it would be all cool and everybody would walk away thinking how sweet things were and how great it is to have a date like Valentine’s Day to celebrate (or initiate) love.  But the story doesn’t end here.  It’s not sweet, and it doesn’t celebrate love.  Those first dates ended up being last dates, and with the exception of one phone call there was no more communication between those two ladies and me.  No emails, no texts, no letters, and I’ll be damned if either one of them hired a bi-plane to scrawl “Thanks for the great date, Jeff Burd!” across the sky out over Lake Michigan.

The dates weren’t even average.  With an average date, you might be left thinking, “Hey, that was okay…  let’s try again and see what happens… .”  No.  These dates were reminders of the types of people we don’t wish to date.  From my point of view, one was so pre-occupied with sailing (it was all she talked about over a few drinks at Jaks Tap on Jackson Street) that I was left wondering how I would ever be able to see her again.  She was ready to rearrange her job and earn less money so she could take long boat trips over the summer on a boat that she helped crew.  As for the other one, she had plans early in the evening that made our date seem rushed.  What’s more, she announced those plans almost immediately after she arrived at the bar in the Hyatt Regency and gave me a hug.  I should mention that I accidentally stepped on her foot, but only because it’s funny and not because it in some way influenced the outcome of the date.


Written by seeker70

February 12, 2014 at 8:35 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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