Take care of your own damn roses: an early anecdote.

Monday, January 25, 2010

This is a story about Valentine's Day.  And before you yell at me that it's not even close to the holiday (go yell at Target for having their shit out December 26, ok?), I posted this early on purpose.  The first being that I know the closer it does get to that wretched day, tons of stories about love and good will go up and mine will get lost.  And second, mine isn't really about the magic of the day...it's kind of why that day needs to burn in hell.

I've never really talked too much about it on this blog, but you'll start to see a trend in posts about my college life: the first year of university was the worst year of my life.  I hated it.  I am still trying to recover from all the bad and all the negativity that happened.  It's a slow process, but I'm at least at the point where I can reflect on it.  Curse words and wishes of damnation may happen, but be proud I've come this far.

Before college, I was never too big on Valentine's Day, anyway.  I'd never had anyone special to celebrate it with, and it was usually punctuated by friends of mine getting hurt by their boyfriends/girlfriends/crushes/dates/friends/"friends".  Safe to say, I've never had a fond thought about it.  But up until February 14, 2006, I didn't have malice for it, either.

For most of my first year, I had two best girl friends in my dorm.  One of which is a lovely lady who I am so lucky to still have as one of my best friends.  The other I refer to simply as K, because I try to give her the least space as possible since she deserves nothing more.  This Valentine's Day happened to be at the time my friendship with K was quickly disintegrating; things had been said and discovered and done that I wasn't willing to look past.  For this, you do have to know that prior to this month, the three of us had been pretty inseparable.  Them moreso than I, though, because they were roommates.

K had a boyfriend, RJ.  Like most high school couples, they were now long-distance since he went to a university in Pennsylvania.  It was pretty well known that K had a bit of a wandering eye, but for all intents and purposes, she had never cheated on RJ.  I'd spoken with RJ a few times, having been on webcam with him while in K's room, or sometimes we'd chat online.  I liked the guy then, I still like him now.  A couple weeks before Valentine's Day, RJ sent me a message asking for my help.  He was sending over a dozen roses for K as a surprise, and needed my help to make sure the flowers got to K.  Despite my dislike of Valentine's Day, I am still a sucker for anything romantic, and readily agreed.

To gloss over it, K is a social butterfly.  She constantly needs people around and attention and loves to go out and have a good time and party--essentially the typical college student.  So when two friends asked out K and our other friend on Valentine's Day, promising a nice relaxing evening and cooking them dinner, she didn't turn them down.  These guys knew K had a boyfriend, so they knew it was a just-friends dinner date.  Mostly just so the four of them didn't have to spend Valentine's Day alone.

Normally, I would have no problem with this.  I get that someone would want to spend a nice dinner evening with friends, and especially someone who would assumingly be missing her boyfriend.  But what I did have a problem with was the fact K told us not to tell RJ.  She told us it was no big deal, but she wasn't telling RJ about it and wanted us to keep it quiet.  Obviously, alert signs went up.  Especially since I knew the trouble he was going through to send her her favorite flowers and do something romantic, and mostly because I thought it was terrible to hide it from a boyfriend if it's "no big deal."

As the day came closer, K got more and more excited.  She started referring to it as a date, she started obsessing about what to wear.  I almost lost it when I heard she was planning what panties to wear.  She said she was joking when she said, "Just in case!" but I still had my doubts.  Regardless, I didn't like it, but what could I do?  Her relationship was none of my business.

K knew to expect something from RJ that day, but she hardly bothered about it.  The only time I heard her talk about it was when she checked the mail and nothing was there, in which she promptly said, "That bastard better not have forgotten about me!"  And then scurried off to get ready for her "not a big deal" date.

Have we noticed that this entire time, I didn't mention any plans of my own?  It's because I had none, and I wasn't too happy about it.  The guy who promised to take me out as friends unexpectedly backed out, and I was left alone.  Most of my friends were busy or doing something or couldn't do anything (it was still a school day, after all), and I knew I was in for a long, lonely night.  I'd learned long ago to accept that Valentine's Day wouldn't be anything special to me, but I never thought I'd learn to hate it.

As it happened, the flowers were late coming since it was a box and it took awhile for the mail station to sort all the boxes that had come in.  Because of this, we weren't able to retrieve the box until later in the evening.  K was "busy getting ready" and asked if I could go pick it up.  Which already irritated me, because she knew I didn't approve of her date, she knew I wasn't quite happy about all the happy romantic bullshit going on around me, and then she sent me off to get flowers from the boyfriend she was ignoring.  Because I'd promised RJ, I went to get them.

When K opened the flowers, she smiled, said, "Awww!  That's so sweet of him!"  To her credit, she did send him a quick text of gratitude.  Then, without even taking them out, she handed me the box and said, "I'm late for the date, can you take care of these?  You know how to deal with flowers, and you can keep them on your desk until i pick them up.  Thanks so much!"  She grabbed her purse, blew me a kiss, and ran out the door to meet them downstairs.

So, I got to spend Valentine's Day unexpectedly alone, trimming the stems and tending a dozen beautiful roses that weren't even for me, then staring at them sitting on my desk for the entire night knowing they were to return to a girl who didn't even think much about them.  It really topped my night when two friends came into my room and said, "Oh, what beautiful flowers, I didn't know you had a special someone!" and I had to say no, I'm just holding them for a friend.

When K came the next afternoon to pick them up, she didn't say thank you to me for taking care of them.  Instead, she gushed about the dinner the boys made them and how she had a great night and now she was going to go webcam with her boyfriend to thank him properly for the flowers, so please don't come into the room for about an hour.

Also?  RJ told K to give me a rose from the bouquet as a thank you for the help.  She never gave it to me.


Stephen K January 25, 2010 at 4:30 PM  

Ugh. Valentine's Day just creates so much carnage. It DOES sound like K needs a slap upside her head, but try not to let the day get to you, Ashley :D

Ashley January 26, 2010 at 8:32 AM  

I've never been too fond of Valentine's Day either. Even in my relationships, I've never celebrated it. I don't find the need for a holiday to express my love or gratitude.

Ashley R January 29, 2010 at 2:00 AM  

Thanks, Stephen :) Valentine's Day somehow always seems to emphasize the disappointment rather than the love. But I think we're slowly learning to find the best in it, at least.

And that's definitely how I feel, Ashley...I shouldn't need a day to remind me to appreciate and show my love for someone. Stupid Hallmark.

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I'm fairly obsessed with penguins, Peanuts (the comic), and the TV show Friends. Parentheses may or may not be (over)used in this blog, and books will pretty much be the only thing I ever talk about because they are my One True Love.


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