When I was in grad school, I had a boyfriend for a short time who wasn't a student. Some people would have called him a "townie" I guess, but I didn't really think of him like that.
He was tall and handsome, if a bit follicly challenged. He was a few years older than I and seemed to be a steady type of guy. He had a decent job in a respected profession and only lived with his mother during the first month or two of our liaison.
By Valentine's Day, he had cut the apron strings and had been living in an apartment of his own for a couple of weeks. Decorated with John Wayne movie posters, it wasn't exactly my style, but I was still a college student and lived in a three-room walk-out basement apartment, so who was I to judge?
I had a night class that semester and Valentine's Day happened to be on a class day. My guy and I planned on keeping things casual for the holiday since I wouldn't be out of class until pretty late in the evening. We decided to watch movies at his apartment since mine was several miles out of town. We'd order a pizza after I got there and cuddle together on the couch. Perfect.
Since it was our first Valentine's Day together and things seemed to be heading in a possibly-serious direction at this point, I thought (ASSUMED) he would get me a gift of some sort to commemorate our first love-holiday together, and his newfound mommy-freedom.
I arrived with anticipation and an empty belly. Walking through the side door and into the kitchen, I spotted a pizza box on the counter. I turned to look at him, but he averted his eyes.
"I got hungry," he said. "But I saved you some."
I walked over to the white box and lifted the lid. "You couldn't wait?" I asked.
There were three or four slices of cold pepperoni pizza inside. He's a big guy. It makes sense that he'd eat most of a large size pie, I guess.
I turned back around to look at him, not knowing what to even say at this point. He's holding a pink, card-sized envelope. He reaches toward me with the hand holding the card and says, "I got you a card."
"I see that," I say, taking the envelope, glad for an excuse to look away from him because I don't particularly like what I'm seeing right now. I notice that he's got yet another John Wayne movie playing on his television. I've never liked John Wayne.
... Anyway, there was no gift, no commemoration, and I didn't stay very long. The evening was the beginning of the end of our fleeting folly of a relationship.
But I still think that imperfectly-heart-shaped stones are really cool.