by Louise Madera
This post is sponsored by the delicious caramel, chocolate and nougat inside every Milky Way®
Last Valentine’s Day I was in a long-term, monogamous relationship. I lived with my boyfriend, the kind of guy who would bring me flowers on a random Tuesday and hide lovey Post-it notes in my suitcase when I traveled. Mornings, he would bring me coffee and candy in bed; I’m a sucker for chocolate with black coffee. What I’m saying is he was a sweet guy, a true delight. Then our first Valentine’s Day together hit.
Sweet ex-boyfriend was working at a life-sucking job. Oh, how he hated it. He was stressed out and cranky, like a toddler, after work. For weeks I had tiptoed around him and poured him whiskeys, making sympathetic noises and insisting he go to bed early. As the holiday that seems to be designed solely to make couples fight and single people feel lonely loomed, I assured sweet ex-boyfriend that I did not need the following: a fancy dinner out, jewelry, or any sort of plush novelty item. I said something like, “Let’s just get a bottle of champagne and cook dinner together.” What I wanted was for him to come home from work at a decent hour so we could have drunken sex fueled by champagne. I also assumed there would be flowers. It seemed reasonable.
You know what’s coming next.
I put on a pretty dress, made a Valentine’s Day playlist, prepped dinner, lit candles, and waited. Seven o’ clock came and went. I got a message that ex-boyfriend was in a meeting. I fed the dog. Eight o’ clock came and went. I watched “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Close to nine o’ clock, sweet ex-boyfriend walked in the door, a bottle of regular, bubble-free wine in his hand and no flowers to be seen. He surveyed his girlfriend in high heels, by candlelight, listening to “The Air That I Breathe.” A look of panic crossed his face. I put the champagne flutes back in the cupboard.
We had the customary fight that couples across the nation have on Valentine’s Day. It basically went like this:
Him: “You said you didn’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”
Me: “No, I said I didn’t want to go out to dinner or buy gifts.”
Him: “I thought I didn’t have to do anything.”
Me: “I wanted roses.”
So there we were. We attempted to salvage the already late evening. The wine was opened and dinner was eaten. I presented him with a card. I also fumed. Our one year anniversary had recently passed without any sort of celebration. I let the two disappointments snowball into one.
Me: “The whole point of being in a relationship is to have someone to share holidays with.”
Him: “I don’t think that’s the whole point.”
Me: “I’m super pissed at you.”
Sweet ex-boyfriend had backed himself into a corner and was fighting valiantly to get out of it. He started tossing out ideas to appease me. “Let’s go get drinks. Let’s go to a movie. Let’s go out for dessert.” I would have none of his last ditch efforts. Then he hit gold. “Do you want to shave an “M” into my stomach hair?” Yes. Yes, I did.
We went into the bathroom. He stood in the bathtub and took off his shirt. I took out an electric razor. Slowly, carefully, I sculpted my first initial into his stomach, using his bellybutton as the base. As the first clump of hair fell into the tub, all the tension broke. I laughed. He laughed. Valentine’s Day was saved. The next morning, he brought me chocolate in bed.
image credit: batuba