One Valentines Day in high school I had this boyfriend who was like “the guy”, the one everyone wanted to date. Looking back, he was the kind of guy that only a small town could catapult to such a level of demand, a Tim Riggins type who was drunk most of the time and really lacked any sort of romance aside from just being badass. I remember that he used to flip his hat backwards before he would beat someone up, like it was no big thing, we would be talking or making out or whatever we did, and he would hold his hand up like, “one second please”, flip his hat on backwards, and then just beat the shit out of whoever it was that had looked at him sideways. It was this trait, in fact, that turned me off the most, and I remember that I broke up with him after he beat up a less popular kid and it made me cry.
Anyway, it was Valentines Day, and there were some ladies who were not very happy about me dating this boy, and one thing led to another and I got beat up by a burly girl with a bad perm in the main hallway of the high school while wearing (if I recall correctly) a corduroy skirt. I was all of 95 lbs, and not the kind of girl that did things like fight, so it pretty much consisted of me balling up and taking punches while a circle of people watched until a teacher broke it up.
She punched me so hard in the left eye that it chipped my bone, and I still have a fragment that swims around below my eye. I had a black eye, obvs, and being the awesome person I was, I was mostly concerned about the fact that I had a date that night and nothing was going to cover it up.
To make a short story long, he was the cats meow and I was dating him and I had just taken several punches for him, and when he picks me up, he doesn’t even get out of the car. I get in, he spits out the window, kisses me on the black eye and says, “Happy Valentines Day, Bruiser” and punches the dash which makes the glove box fall open and reveal one, single, wilted white rose.
Happy Valentines Day, indeed. I think about this story every year, and am both grateful that I had the good sense to ditch that boy and that I somehow got lucky enough to marry the man I did. Also, that I don’t wear corduroy skirts anymore.