The first time I had a boyfriend and Valentines Day at the same time, I was a senior in high school.
I took him to Love’s Barbecue. My memory’s a little fuzzy on the details but I seem to recall Love’s BBQ being a big chain, at least in southern California. My web research reveals only two locations now, neither the site of the date I’m about to share with you. You’d think a place called Love’s BBQ would go on forever.
Love’s had some sort of lovers special for Valentine’s Day and I made reservations for this. It probably involved ribs and coleslaw for two with a sundae for dessert. Sadly I don’t remember the specifics but I do remember this:
At some point during our meal, the manager came out and introduced himself. He was a sort of big and sweaty guy and seemed sort of nervous. Since we signed up for this lovers special, he was presenting us with a certificate of our love. And I remember people in the restaurant watching this and smiling. And I remember my teenaged “it’s all about wonderful me” mind noticing the nervous manager and smiling people and how these must be glances of envy and admiration, what with us being so young and adorable with our whole lives ahead of us.
What I realize now is that all of those people could barely keep themselves from laughing to death. Can you imagine? A certificate of our love. The manager probably sat in the back clutching his belly and laughing until tears squeezed out of his eyes. No wonder he was sweaty.