It is inevitable that Saturday is going to happen. And I am not going to put any energy on it. So it’s Valentine’s Day. Big whoop. So I’ll stay away from all eating establishments and movie theaters in Utah County; so I’ll hear from all three of my sisters about the pretty flowers they got; so I’ll scoff at lovers everywhere. Why? I used to love Valentine’s Day. Where did this bitterness start?
I’ll tell you where: My senior year in high school. That’s exactly where it started.
I will try not to use real names but let’s face it, this story is already a young legend in my town. And so the story goes…
During my junior year of high school, I fell in love for the first time. He was from a neighboring town and was one year older than me. I was totally smitten and not in a good way. I will warn you now that this two-year love story has few happy moments.
The entire experience was utter and complete hell. Not only did all the girls from Spanish Fork continually try to beat me up, all the boys had read my stolen diary. (Yep, said diary was returned to me by the basketball star on my front porch, although not in the Domino’s Pizza uniform from my dreams that I had written about so many times.)
My obsession was hard on my friends, too. From poor Jodi getting hypothermia (because I forced her to walk through four feet of snow in sub zero temperatures while attempting to sneak into his house)--to taking Brittany on a hell ride to Snow College (on which we both almost lost our lives), it was a very traumatic experience for all of my friends and me.
After two years of hiding in the bathroom every time Springville played Spanish Fork in a sporting event and after several awesome make-out sessions to mix tapes on waterbeds, I still hadn't learned my lesson. Alas, during my senior year he would leave for his L.D.S. mission.
I, of course, had to have the perfect dress, hair and make up for his farewell. And I looked amazing. What? I totally did. But why should this story end with me having any dignity in tact? When have I EVER let anything just be. No, I was waiting for Gina to pick me up (in her awesome Suzuki Samurai) and noticed that my new dress would not lay flat along the neckline. I tried relentlessly to make the scalloped trim lay properly. Finally, I plugged in the iron, got a towel, put the towel on my chest, laid the iron on my chest, and... nothing. The fabric still flipped up. So I hit the steam button. Why not? Why not?… Because it would scorch the skin right off my chest!
If you can’t tell, the following picture is a photo of my chest; on my chest are scars in the perfect shape of an iron. And I did it to myself because I was sick with love.
This picture was taken at a softball game months later. It does not compare to the day of the farewell. I had bright, glaring, purple dots scattered across my chest. Bless Gina’s reaction as she tried to talk me out of wearing the dress. I believe I overheard someone refer to me as an "alien" while I sobbed through sacrament meeting. (Yes, of course I wore the dress with the low neckline. Of course I did.) Little did Gina or I know that this would be the first of many disasters she would try to talk me out of.
The farewell was fine, blah blah blah, the boy brought me a nice letter later that night, and that was the end. (Okay, I am not going to lie, years later he married a girl from Logan and I saw the announcement in the paper because I was going to Utah State, and my sister and I did try to stalk the wedding, but it was totally out of curiosity.)
And that really is the end. I may always remember this story as my first painful experience with love, but I don’t know that I can correlate the rest of my relationship history to any one defining moment. I think each one is different. And I can’t really say that I have learned that much because I still spazz out to this very day… but I am hopeful that one day, maybe even on the dubious 14th of February, I will look back and realize it was all worth it.