Erin Thomassen | Sunday, February 16, 2014
I was running out of time to find a valentine, so I did what any self-respecting, self-empowering woman would do. I ran to Rolfs.
As soon as I stumbled in, they knew I didn’t belong. Was it my mascara-laden lashes? My sneakers that were six-inch wedges in disguise? No matter. I ignored the stares and feigned interest in my fingernails.
Seeing that the house was packed, I realized that it was not the best time to make my workout début. I should have seen it coming. Every place on campus has its moment in the sun. The bookstore is the place to be in late August, the library during finals. The cardio room is curiously popular right before Valentine’s Day.
Once the pack of ponytails realized that I was not going to hop on an elliptical and try to pedal faster than them, they whipped out their phones and logged back onto Pinterest. If synchronized searching were an Olympic sport, these girls would take the gold.
I wandered into the weight room to weigh my options. They weighed more than I could bench-press, so I swiveled around and headed back into the lobby.
I walked with purpose to make up for my lack of purpose. I stumbled upon a flight of stairs, or more accurately, stumbled down a flight of stairs. I sprung up and glanced around the basketball courts, hoping no one witnessed my downfall. A gaggle of guys in bro-tanks seemed slightly concerned. Hmmm. Maybe falling down wasn’t such a bad idea.
I wasn’t about to interfere with fate, so I flung myself back on the floor, groaning dramatically. I could play the damsel in distress. I hadn’t graced the stage since I played Townsperson Number Two in “Romeo and Juliet,” but the talent was still there, waiting to surface and shower my fans with Shakespearian sonnets.
The blonde with blue eyes jogged over to play my knight in shining armor, and I mentally raised the roof. But he was approaching too quickly — curse those bulging calves. I had to scramble to scoot around so that he would get a view of the more attractive half of my face. He must have glimpsed my right, less photogenic side, because he sprinted past me and headed straight to the water fountain.
I clutched the handrail and dragged myself up to a standing position. I wasn’t about to fall out of character, so I limped slowly up the stairs, hoping one of the other lads would come offer a hand. Nada. I looked over to find that my audience was too distracted with a game of knockout to notice the knockout right in front of them. I huffed and marched up to the third floor, forgetting to limp the rest of the way.
Then I found the track. After semesters of searching, I finally found a place where it was completely acceptable, even encouraged, to chase after boys. I spotted a tall one in front of me. Come on legs, you can go faster.
I set my eyes on the prize and sprinted until I was only three feet away. I slowed down for a second to fix my ponytail and mentally prepared myself to meet my future valentine.
I ran up beside him to find that he had earbuds in. No matter. He probably has exquisite taste in music. I coughed conspicuously to attract his attention. He glanced my way, turned up his music and picked up his pace, leaving me in the dust. I tried to cheer myself up by telling myself that he couldn’t have been my soul mate, because he was listening to Miley Cyrus.
Five minutes later, I was breathless. Not because a boy had taken my breath away, but because I hadn’t run since the fitness test. I decided to call it a day, Feb. 12, to be exact, and headed back to my dorm.
The wind stung my ears, but not as much as the pain of rejection did. I envisioned another Valentine’s Day spent alphabetizing my tea collection. It just wouldn’t be as exciting the second time around.
Then I realized: St. Valentine was single! It may have something to do with a vow of chastity, but that’s a minor detail. The only way to honor St. Valentine on his special day is to abstain from dating culture, like he did. It would be cruel to enjoy a romantic evening, since he was not allowed to.
So, that’s the reason why I was color-coding socks on Valentines Day. It was not at all because I could not find a date.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.