Valentine's Day

Last modified on February 14th, 2007

I just looked at my computer clock and realized that today is Valentine’s day, and here I am, on my couch in the dark, alone. I talked with my ex-girlfriend briefly on the phone tonight, asked how she was doing, what she was up to, the same old same old. We were trying to figure out a time to get together for dinner, and she said that Wednesday night was obviously out. And even though I wanted to ask, I didn’t. Because really, who wants to know what their ex is doing for Valentine’s day?

So, what do I plan to do? I’m not really sure, but I imagine it’s going to involve some liquor down at a local watering hole. Maybe my random act of kindness for Wednesday will be to wash away a few of my own memories in a flood of beer, to hang out with some old friends or to maybe reach out with a few shots of tequila and make a few new ones.

It wasn’t that long ago that the blue box program came out in BC. You know, that blue plastic thing where everyone puts their recycling goods into and drops them off once and a while to be recycled. I remember thinking what a good thing it was. Then, one day, I was talking with a friend and I asked what she thought of them. I was surprised when she said that she didn’t support them. The reason is that most people suddenly feel like that’s all they have to do to make a huge difference, and even though it does help, a lot of people simply pat themselves on the back and never do another thing for the environment. It’s almost a simple way to put your conscience at ease.

And maybe Valentine’s day is the blue-box of love. Maybe it’s the day we focus on so that the rest of the year we don’t really have to step up to the plate and remind the people we love what they mean to us. Maybe all we have to do is just throw some flowers in that box once a year, or some wine or chocolate, some bath oil or some scented candles, and pat ourselves on the back for showing we care.

The very first girl I really cared for was girl named Susan way back at UBC. I thought what we had was magical, even though looking back I realize how flawed my perspective was on it all. I wrote her poems, gave her flowers, did little stupid things that only I do. In fact, I just realized that we started dating on Valentine’s day. Earlier in the day, I went with Brennen down to a flower shop on 12th and Alma and bought a dozen roses. Since one of the residence advisers owed me a favour, I managed to convince him to score me a key to Susan’s room earlier that day. We were all out at the Pit that night (Friday), since it was officially the beginning of reading week. When the opportunity presented itself, I left the Pit, sprinted all the way back to Totem Park, filled her room with roses using the key I scored, and ran all the way back to the Pit. Later that night, we parted ways, me going to my room and her going to hers. Twenty minutes later she was at my door and we had our first kiss.

After a few months, I remember thinking how cute a couple we were, and how happy we were. We did most everything together, and often would skip class just to hang out or take a nap. Then one day we were at the bar together, and I was in a bad mood, and she apparently was having way more fun dancing without me. So, I told her I was going home, and that I would meet her back in her room later that night. And when I got there, sitting open on her desk, was her little pink diary.

Now, I’m really not proud that I looked, and if I could go back I probably wouldn’t have, but after a few beers reading that one open page seemed like a great idea. And if you were Gage towers that night, walking back from the bar, or riding the elevator, maybe you would have heard the loud resounding crack of my heart as it echoed off the cold concrete walls. Like some dominos set in my chest put into motion by that first page, one by one each page collapsed, taking with it a little piece of my heart and my childhood. And as that last page fell, and every ounce of hope and goodness that was in that relationship dripped down my cheeks, I realized in that instant, I really had grown up.

But not all love ends in sadness, and many of my friends are happily married now, some with kids or kids on the way. So, I still hope that there’s someone out there for me, someone to sit at home with, to drink wine with, to grow old with, and to someday share the darkness with.

A long, long time ago, I used to read a lot of poetry, so I’ll leave this entry with the words of John Donne.

Yet nothing can to nothing fall,
Nor any place be empty quite ;
Therefore I think my breast hath all
Those pieces still, though they be not unite ;
And now, as broken glasses show
A hundred lesser faces, so
My rags of heart can like, wish, and adore,
But after one such love, can love no more.

19 responses to “Valentine's Day”

  1. Kasia says:

    Oh geez, you made me cry, Duaner! That’s no way to start V-day..! Dude, you are one in a million, truly. Lunch and beers on ME.

  2. Cici says:

    sorry dude, that sucks. i think everyone needs their heart broken at least once though, just to tough it out and be a little more realistic for the real thing. of course sometimes it just destroys the person… but you seem to have survived πŸ˜€

    when i read “And maybe ValentineÒ€ℒs day is the blue-box of love” i was totally reminded of sex and the city. i don’t know if you’ve ever watched the show but please don’t take it as an insult :p the main character is very self reflective and metaphoric and comes up with the most interesting analogies for her love life. (i believe the main writer for the show is a male btw)

  3. Clay says:

    Dude…that’s a totally depressing story about the girlfriend. I’ve been there, I’m sure we all have, but it never gets any more pleasant to hear about. As Cici says, tho, it’s certainly cathartic to have a major heartbreak, if not enjoyable.

    Regarding Valentines itself, I’ve always been the type to do nice things for my girl anyways, and Valentines day just makes doing that stuff more expensive for a week. The blue box analogy is perfect!

    Having said that, it IS an excuse for a hotter than normal date if you’re with someone. πŸ˜‰

  4. mel says:

    … but I thought GUYS are the assholes? huh… πŸ™‚

  5. tiffany says:

    dude… you’re honestly one of the raddest guys i know and any chick would be lucky to be in your company.

    that said, fuck valentine’s day and it’s fucking valentine’s day-ness. πŸ˜‰

  6. Cage says:

    I love being married, and I love my husband; but marriage has it’s ups and downs just like any other relationship you have. It’s not perfect and it’s not always happy…that’s when your love for someone needs to run deeper than your like for them.

    I believe there is someone for you Duane, and she’s looking just as hard for you as you are for her. Hang in there.

  7. Brennen says:

    Hey Duane, I think our friend Dave is available tonight. Oh and one more thing… should have passed her through your buddy, watch how you cut the cake, NOT THAT WAY!!

  8. Duane says:

    Oh man, cake day was a bad one. Yeah, I’m not sure if Dave’s mom will let him come out tonight though. I probably should have gotten you guys to approve her first, just like you probably should have come to my birthday party that time instead of making out with that 16 yr old in the Jimmy πŸ˜‰

  9. Jill says:

    I gave my heart to someone this summer. They kind of kept it in their back pocket for a while, then tossed it against a wall and walked away. I never got to blog about it though because they wouldn’t walk far enough away. I never knew I could be so dumb and that somebody could be so cruel. Thanks for this post, Duane. It was painfully beautiful and it gave me this little box to say what I could not say before.

    You deserve the best πŸ™‚

  10. Duane says:

    Aww, sorry to hear that Jill. There’s another verse of that poem that I thought of when I read your comment:

    If ’twere not so, what did become
    Of my heart when I first saw thee?
    I brought a heart into the room,
    But from the room I carried none with me.
    If it had gone to thee, I know
    Mine would have taught thine heart to show
    More pity unto me ; but Love, alas !
    At one first blow did shiver it as glass.

  11. Dori says:

    Oh Duane! Happy love to you every day of the year. You are such a great guy! If I wasn’t married, you’d be the kind of guy I would be looking for. You are so honest and sincere, that’s the stuff to be proud of. Where IS she?

  12. Duane says:

    I think she might be at the bottom of this full bottle of wine I just opened.. Wait, I’ll find her!

  13. Kate says:

    Hey Duane, I’m sure you will find the right girl soon and when you do, you’ll appreciate her way more!

  14. cory says:

    Hey duane, remember that valentines day we went to doulins to pick up chicks. Well we struck out, but got really pissed though.

    March 3rd house warming/30th b-day party. e-vite to come

  15. Duane says:

    Remember that 45 year old asian girl (that looked 20 I might add) that we both were in love with? Oh wait, maybe that was just me.

  16. brennen says:

    mmmm all these great friends you have that feel so sorry for you Duane. These comments make me appreciate you all the more. Ahh buddy, if I wasn’t married too! You are just the type I would look for. Hey by the way White Rock is sooo far and you haven’t come to see me in so long, tell me, which one in the pic is you which Susan?

  17. […] valentine’s?”, “what is this person doing at the library right now?”. Duane talked about Blue-box of love in his post yesterday, and I can totally see his point. From my […]

  18. […] a lot of old entries I had completely forgotten about. This one I wrote after a few drinks last Valentine’s day is a pretty interesting read, at least in my opinion (especially since Valentine’s is […]

  19. […] happier now (apparently), but I remember writing them, and I remember feeling that way. Here are two random entries that I quite […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *