Hopefully you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day yesterday, but if you didn’t and are feeling a little down about it, have I got a story for you. I must give you fair warning though – it is not one for the faint of heart. Only those able to handle the thrills and chills of the most nightmarish February 14th should read on!

This creepy tale begins in the early Nineties when Nirvana and Brandon Walsh were all the rage, and I was an awkward, brace-faced freshman in high school. I was not loving life back then, especially since there were two bullies in my class who acted like it was their job to make my life miserable. We’ll call these chumps Biff and 3-D (since those were the names of the baddies in my beloved “Back To The Future.”) Unfortunately, I’m afraid I was more George than Marty when it came to standing up for myself back then.

young Mike
Me about a year before this dark and twisted tale

There was one reason I did like going to school, however, and her name was Allison. Allison was a blond fourteen-year-old straight out of a Nickelodeon show, and I was smitten. Each day I tried to find a way to talk to her, and if we so much as made a few moments of small talk I was walking on water. Most days though I was too nervous to say anything, and went home glum and probably a whole lot of fun for my parents to be around.

But then Valentine’s Day approached and the school announced that, as a fundraiser, you could purchase a rose, box of candy, or teddy bear that a student council member would distribute to your student of choice with a confidential message on the Big Day. “Let that special someone know you love them with a valentine!” the flyer read, and I decided I would do just that. I would tell Allison how I felt via one of these valentines, and find out once and for all if she felt the same way about me!

Of course, being an awkward freshman boy, I wimped out and did no such thing. So there I sat in class on Valentine’s Day, hating myself, when a student council member entered and… to my shock… handed me the deluxe rose/candy/teddy bear valentine package! I stared at it a moment before opening the card. I nearly fell off my chair as I read the message:

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Mike. How come you’ve never asked me out? Love, Allison. xoxo”

Biff and 3-D’s mocking voices suddenly rang out and disrupted my happy moment.

“Someone bought Mike a valentine? Are you kidding me? What kind of dumbass would do that?”

I glared at them, insulted, and snarled, “Allison sent it. That’s who.” That shut them up pretty quick. The gorgeous Allison had sent ME a valentine!

The next two periods were interminable as I tried to figure out how I would tell Allison I got her valentine and that – OMG – I, like, totally liked her too! It occurred to me the ideal way to do it would be by riding up on a white horse with flowing locks a la Brad Pitt in “Legends of the Fall,” but that required prep time I didn’t have. Instead, I decided to simply walk up to her at lunch and ask her out.

At noon I hurried out of class and looked around until I found Allison eating with her friends at a table in the center of the cafeteria. By this time word had gotten out about my valentine, and as I nervously walked toward her, all eyes were on me. I reached Allison’s table and raised the teddy bear as she looked up at me mid bite of tater-tot.

“Thanks so much for the valentine, Allison. And YES I would LOVE to ask you out!”

Allison stared at me a second before spitting out, “Uh, what?”

“Maybe this Friday? There’s a new movie out that –”

“I didn’t send you a valentine!” Allison screeched like I had accused her of a heinous crime. “Why would I send YOU a valentine?”

I stood there with the wind knocked out of me until I noticed Biff and 3-D pointing and laughing.

“Best fifteen bucks we ever spent! Ha! You should see the look on your face, Mike!”

The two a-holes slapped five over their prank as I dropped the teddy bear and ran off. The whole thing was like a scene from “Glee” except afterward no one sang me a song or tried to comfort me.

So there you have it, folks! If you had a crap Valentine’s Day, take heart in knowing that at least you didn’t have one as crap as fourteen year old Mike! And don’t forget that every crap Valentine’s Day is eventually eclipsed by a great one… like when Heather and I got engaged, or yesterday, when I was lucky enough to spend the day with my two best girls.

Happy Valentine’s Day!