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Valentines in Strange Waters

So Valentines is officially over and it just went by like a *swoosh* in the wind. No, I'm not bitter, even if I do sound like it. And, no, I'm not trying to convince myself either. I've never really had a sweet Valentines experience when I was in sort-of relationships. They were more like funny experiences, but, the sad kind of funny. Like episodes from "EPISODES." Hilariously painful. But, you've just got to laugh at it.

So here are the oxymoronic anecdotes of my only three Valentines experiences.

February 2000

It was the first Valentines when I actually had someone to celebrate the day with. It was also the first time I was officially in a relationship. While everyone I knew were getting flowers and chocolates, I wasn't really expecting any. My boyfriend back then, didn't have enough allowance for anything else, but, for games and the arcade. Mind you, I was turning twenty then, he was turning 19. (Hey! No judging, I like 'em younger even back then.)

So before the day ended, my (X)boyfriend comes in my room, with a long brown Manila envelope, a little crumpled, but it looked like it had something slightly bulky inside. I was playing the Playstation-X, and all our other friends were noisily hanging out in my room. X, then, stretches out his hand with the long brown Manila envelope pointing towards me. Everybody grew quiet. I took the envelope, and inside I found a single stem white rose.

Awwwww ... how sweet, ain't it?

Then, X said, "S told me to give you that." "S" was one of his best friends who I've only met a few times before that day. I could have sworn, I saw his bestfriend "R", cringe at the information he just freely gave away.

So at that moment, I called S on the phone to give my thanks. To which he responded, "What white rose?"

Oh, could it be that my X was being bashful on giving his then-girlfriend a rose?

Trying to be coy, I answered, "Oh, the one X gave me that is in a long brown Manila envelope which he said, came from you?"

Then I heard a slap. I imagined, a hand to a forehead. "I told him not to tell him where he got it."

While laughing at the failure of this attempt, I gave my thanks and gave X a kiss, anyways.

From then on, it has become a running gag -- the story of his White Rose.


Same X. A year after, there were more couples in the group. So, all the guys who had girlfriends back then, went running to the mall together to get the girls their Valentines chocolates. I got a 16-piece Ferrero Rocher. It's probably the most expensive chocolate I ever got in my entire life. Of course, not counting the bags of Milky Ways and Butterfingers my dad used to take home from Saudi Arabia.

The day passed by without incident, and I enjoyed my chocolate. To be honest, I just ate one and enjoyed the cute little box that came with it. I gave most of the chocolates to friends and my family. I still have the box, though. I think. But, it's in the Philippines.

A month later, a mutual friend, one of my best, G, was asking X for the money he borrowed. Three hundred Philippine Pesos. More or less US$8.00. Remember what I said up there? X doesn't have the money for anything else but games and the arcade?

I offered to pay for X's debt. G tried to decline my offer, and after a few minutes of reverse-money-tug-of-war, he told me, "but, that's for your chocolates. It's not right that you pay for it." I don't know ... maybe, I'm just weird ... but, in the end I convinced G that he'll never be paid unless he takes my money. And he was desperately broke, so, he took it anyways.

From then on, it has become a running gag -- the story of the Ferrero Rocher.


After X, I never got into another relationship until I met M. In my head, I thought, maybe I should try it out again. 2008 was my first Valentines with her.

I was hanging out at a friend's house, playing the Playstation 2. M came bearing a single stem white rose. Of course she knew about the story of the rose and the Ferrero Rocher, so she thought it would be funny to bring me a white rose on our first Valentines day. She did the Ferrero Rocher on my birthday before that.

Then, she apologized for not being able to stay longer, or for not being able to take me out that day. I said it's ok, that I'll probably just play my games all day instead, and that I never really expected anything special. And that the rose was a big surprise enough. And then she left, and in her eyes, I saw something I couldn't tell what.

That was the last time I saw her. She broke up with me through text, six months after.

From then on, it has become a story we don't talk about -- the story of her white rose.

Although, in retrospect, those were not the saddest thing.

The saddest thing is ... I've never given anyone anything on Valentines day. Because, I always forget. It passes by like a *swoosh* in the wind.
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