I don’t have any good Valentine’s Day stories, and the one Valentine’s Day that I actually spent in the company of a girlfriend ended with us hissing at each other at a restaurant, her throwing the roses I’d bought her into a trash can, ominous glaring, and an eventual, tear-filled reconciliation that wound late into the night. We still broke up four months later.

Depressed, angry, and alone, I once spent a Valentine’s Day evening in a dark theater watching Brotherhood of the Wolf. The reviews and trailer made it look bloody, action-packed, and completely stupid, which I thought would be a good antidote for all the lovey-dovey in the air that I wasn’t getting. I’d read Matt Zoller Seitz’s insightful review—which thoroughly panned it—and assumed that this France-goes-to-chopsocky-school flick would knock me out of the doldrums through sheer sensation. If nothing else, I’d get to see Monica Bellucci naked. I hadn’t counted on the movie being Makeout Central for smooching teens nor on the movie being so depressingly inept that I couldn’t even enjoy its badness. I got surly. I left 40 minutes into the movie, nerves jangly and frayed.


Mostly, I don’t think about the “holiday.” This year, I’ll be attending an acquaintance’s anti-V-Day party—board games and beer for all singletons—and not worrying too much about the state of my romantic life.

For a good Valentine’s Day story, then, you should read Sheila O’Malley’s account of her best date ever. A terrific story from a terrific writer, it’s romantic, funny, anti-romantic, and honest about the dating life.

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. He is the co-author (with Daniel Couch) of Bob Mould's Workbook (Bloomsbury, 2017). His work has been published in The Quarterly Conversation, RogerEbert.com, Bookslut (RIP), The Comics Journal, The Baseball Chronicle, and other periodicals. Twitter: @walter_biggins.
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3 Responses to “Holiday”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    What board games do y’all play? I’ve recently discovered Settlers of the Catan and Ticket to Ride as my two favorites. They’re insanely fun.

  2. Walter says:

    I’m not sure–I’ve never been before to this person’s house before. I’m bringing Milles Bornes and Scotland Yard, and someone said something about Carcassonne. All of which are fun.

  3. sheila says:

    I really appreciate you linking to my Val. Day story.
    I love your blog – I discovered it through a link to your Royal Tenenbaums piece – great work.

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