Oh, Valentine’s Day! The day of the big ‘L-word’… LOVE! The day you spend with the people you love, like your significant other, or with your gal pals! For me, I have always dreamt of being swooped off my feet, taken to a nice dinner and then taken on a magic carpet ride through the city. Oh, how little Grayson can dream! Soon after entering what seemed like the real dating world, all those imaginary scenarios started to die down. All that dying down led to another year and another Valentine’s Day. Most holidays, I was alone, weeping about how I wished I could be on a date with Joe Burrow in Paris. Then, after a few years of dreaming, in 2019, I met a guy in the United States Air Force, and that was the wake-up call to my reality.
Just a little background, I live in Goldsboro, North Carolina, home of small businesses like Jay’s Kitchen and Jay’s 108, and the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. My small town is filled with many eligible airmen from different parts of the world! One lucky day, I met Chase Miller (not his real name). Chase was tall, a football fanatic and had the cutest golden retriever ever. We would hang out every day, crack the funniest jokes and have the best time. My dreams seemed complete when he asked me to be his valentine for Valentine’s Day! I thought to myself, “Maybe I did meet my Joe Burrow.”
On Feb. 14, I got dolled up with a full face of makeup, heels and my hair curled. Then, I waited for Chase to pick me up for our reservation at my favorite sushi restaurant. Around 30 minutes passed, and I sat in my living room wondering if I got stood up. But, in short, I was stood up on a date that he himself asked me to go on! The rest of the night consisted of sitting in a pool of my tears, ice cream and The Notebook. I received no phone calls or text messages. I never got an explanation for his disappearance.
Thanks to a small town like Goldsboro, I found out that Chase went back to his hometown and his hometown girlfriend. When I heard this, I felt like my heart dropped; my daydreams of the perfect guy and the perfect date just vanished. I felt like I could never date again (coming from someone still 20 years old.) That was the first, the worst and the last Valentine’s Day date that I will ever (not) go on.
Two years later, in 2021, after all the Christmas decorations were put away, I was reminded of Valentine’s Day. Again, the excessive amounts of pink and red chocolates were a dead giveaway. Ever since Chase had the audacity of leading me on, I can’t say I liked the idea of love and dating. Sure, I went on other dates since then, but Valentine’s Day was the only day I would never be available. Instead, Valentine’s Day became a day to be with my gal pals.
That year was the best Valentine’s Day ever! I wasn’t alone, and I didn’t get stood up; I was with a group of girls that cared about me! We went to a nice dinner at The Edison in Tallahassee with all the girls chatting, laughing and having a great time! The night ended with some homemade sugar cookies, and we all snuggled up watching Sex and the City. All the girls didn’t need a date for Valentine’s Day; we had each other!