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My ex, well, he was a true romantic.

Today, class, I will share with you one of the most romantic Valentine’s Days that he planned for me. Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents, and prepare to get jealous.

In February of my 30th year, I was 8 years into a relationship with a boyfriend to whom I was house-married. If you’re unfamiliar with the term  “house-married,” just think of a shared mortgage as a de facto marriage license, with annualized interest. More exciting still, it turns out it’s just as hard to extricate yourself from a mortgage as from a marriage.

On this particular Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend wanted to go see his favorite band, which happened to be playing in town. It was as if the gods shined down upon us. How lucky we were.

I had hoped for a double-feature compromise.

We could end the night at a music venue with hundreds of other damp and sticky concertgoers, but first, we could have an intimate dinner alone. In my heart of hearts, I hoped we could splurge at my favorite restaurant, which didn’t even have plastic cutlery. It seemed a fair trade, you know, almost like a shared mortgage.

But, alas, my hopes were dashed because he had already invited six of his friends to come to town and stay in our home for the night, to attend the concert with us.

But it’s okay, he assured me, because it was three couples. A concert for eight. How romantic. Yes, that makes it VERY FINE INDEED.

Then, my beloved posed a simple request. And baby, “As my Valentine’s gift will you DD for us, you know, because it’s not your favorite band?”

Right now, I bet you are all crazed with jealousy. I mean, come on. I had the privilege of hanging out with six of my boyfriend’s closest friends, hosting them in our home for the evening, and driving them all to a concert.

What more could I ask for on Valentine’s Day?

How about weather complications? On the night of February 13th, it snowed 3 feet overnight in upstate New York.

I spent the day the most romantic way I could imagine: preparing the house for guests. Our snowblower was busted and in the shop, so I also enjoyed 6 hours of shoveling snow while he napped to prepare for the big night out. I was giddy with delight!

Late in the afternoon, all his friends arrived and we ordered a traditional Valentine’s Day fare of pizza and wings.

Luckily, I drew the short straw and got to go pick it up, because delivery is a luxury for which I am unworthy. And besides, my beau really needed time to chain-smoke Camel Menthol Silvers and pregame with his friends. By the time I had returned, they were all riding high on blow and ready to party.

Pinch me, I thought. This must be heaven.

I ate pizza and wings inside by myself while they all continued to chain-smoke and do more blow in the garage. When I finished my romantic dinner-for-one, it was time to head out to see Breaking Benjamin. Please try to contain your squeals of delight.

We all piled into my car, and I drove us to the venue, grateful to be surrounded by such luminaries while sober. It turned out, the city wasn’t really great about clearing the sidewalks after the 3 feet of snow, so we parked in a public lot approximately a half-mile away. If you’ve never trudged through calf-deep snow and slush in your concert best, you haven’t lived.

I paused and reflected on this marvelous day.

I mean, my ex really knows how to treat a lady.

The venue was a spooky old armory, where the bottom cushion to my folding seat was no longer attached. No matter! I didn’t mind being continuously pitched forward onto the floor in front of me. My boyfriend spent the entire evening talking to his friend (probably about what a wonderful woman I am), getting progressively wasted and heading outside to smoke. It was almost as if he ignored my presence entirely, wanting me to fully experience the pounding percussion and piercing guitar riffs. By the end of the show, I wondered if my ears were bleeding. What a giver.

On the walk back to the car, everyone was so filled with romance, love, and libations that they simply could not contain themselves.

They puked in the streets, covering the snow in the yellow bile of lust.

One of the ladies was so overcome with amorousness that she fell repeatedly into snowbanks on our half-mile walk, needing to be forcibly lifted from the banks by her compatriots each time. We decided to stop, warm up, and have one last bathroom break.

The public lot we parked in was next to a large, multi-use building with restaurants, businesses, apartments, and a public restroom. We got inside, and our fallen snowbank angel—intoxicated by uppers, downers, and boundless love—decided to run free. We spent the next hour  playing a one-sided game of hide-and-seek. Sure, I was tired. But who am I to curtail the fun?

To cap off this stellar evening, Our Lady of the Snowbank and one of the gentlemen of the group had a surprise planned once we got back home. They were both so full of Valentine’s love that they could not hold it in any longer. They proceeded to christen my house with their vomit, an act so loving that I almost cried. They didn’t bother hitting the  sinks, toilets, or buckets—that would have been too ordinary, too easy. Instead, they puked in beds, on couches, and all over the floors. I will truly never forget it.

So, you ask, what did I do for Valentine’s Day this year?

Nothing. All by myself. I just don’t think anything could live up to last year.

Cecelia Halpert

Cecelia is an amateur storyteller, writer, and adult. She hopes to go pro in all three someday.

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