I used to wear black. Head to toe in black. I hated Valentine’s Day. I still hate Valentine’s Day. But this year is different. I have a date for the first time in 33 years. It’s not that I didn’t date in 33 years, it’s just that I never held onto them long enough to make Feb. 14. I’d like to say that was intentional, kinda like breaking up with someone before Christmas to get out of buying presents. But it wasn’t.
So I’m expecting to experience this cliché holiday in a whole new way this year. Roses, chocolate and wine will all be mine. Hearts, love notes and cupid won’t be so stupid.
Who am I kidding? None of that stuff is for me. I’d rather have a six-pack than a dozen roses. Nothing says I love you more than a fresh-cut lime wedge tucked into the neck of a Corona Light. And fancy restaurants just give me gas. Wine and dine me while staring lovingly into my eyes over a shared bowl of Dundee Dip. I get chills just thinking about it.
Over the past six months of dating just one person, I’ve learned a lifetime of lessons. First and foremost is that she is always right. You get that down, and you’ll be good. I’m no relationship expert, and I don’t even claim to be one on TV. But here are some observations I’ve made along my brief journey. You professional daters probably already have this down pat — but for me, it was like trying to assemble an IKEA nightstand with an instruction booklet in Spanish. Comprende?
• Don’t make plans without first consulting the significant other.
• Don’t go to bed without calling to say goodnight.
• Don’t drunk text them.
• Don’t make jokes about their parents, pets and passions.
• Don’t make issues out of small annoyances, like how they get a new glass out of the cupboard every time they want water.
• Don’t lose yourself in the other person — compromising is the key.
• Do surprise them at work with a soy latte, splash of vanilla, from Day’s Coffee.
• Do remember dates of significant events.
• Do shower them with compliments, winks and smiles.
• Do embrace their friends and family as your own.
• Do pretend to think their cat is a genius.
• Do let your guard down and go with the flow — spontaneity is sexy — even if it means missing “American Idol.”