Deception for My Valentine

I have a naughty streak on Valentines.

My favorite transgression, 15 years ago, duped my old lady into having dinner with me. That was just before she became my old lady.

Valentines fell on Friday that year. I was pretty eager to reserve her company, but didn’t want to wreck a good friendship over something as dumb as Valentines Day. The Peace Corps, which had brought us together six years earlier, meant so much more to each of us than bonbons.

Since my folks planned to visit DC that month, I suggested they come down the weekend of the 15th.

‘Why not come Friday?’ I said. This way, I reserved a notable event on Valentines with no connection to romance. The cover made the next step easy: ask my friend if she’d like to meet my parents.

‘Join us for dinner a week from Friday,’ I innocently proposed.

Freed from the possible stigma of rejection, I rejoiced nonetheless when she agreed.

I picked her up that night, my parents in the rear of the extended cab, and Cupid went berserk. For being sly on his holiday, I was to suffer his revenge.

Much later—after a torturous search for parking on the busiest dinner night of the year, an eternal wait outside Lebanese Taverna on CT Ave, an oppressive effusion of gratitude toward my friend for spending an unusual evening with my parents (at one point mom, reviewing the goods at a discount novelty shop where we passed the wait for our table, raised a Jesus action figure and declaimed: ‘Isn’t this a riot!?’)—both parties reprimanded me separately for a grave omission. I had failed the courtesy of introducing them.

Introduction? But who else could they be, this good friend I’d brought to my truck, those people in the back of my cab on Valentines Day?

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