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Pop Op: A Valentine's Day massacre

Did you see me out in San Diego Valentine's Day weekend? I know some of my fellow writers and friends did and they were surprised to see me around... As you might recall I wrote a column that ran right before Valentines Day about my plans with Nick to spend the weekend in a cabin in Illinois hunting with his Corgis... and yes, there were going to be guns too. Well our plans got derailed and our romantic Valentines weekend got moved to San Diego. Facing a last minute challenge to find a romantic dinner spot; it got me to thinking, what do you do when things go off the tracks?
Picture perfect
Whether it’s hopeless or hopeful, I consider myself a romantic at heart and I wanted to make sure Valentines Day was perfect. I was able to get outdoor reservations at Island Prime with a view looking across the San Diego Bay at Downtown, the Coronado Bridge and Island. Between the ideal weather and heat lamps to keep the chill off I was quite proud of what I had done. However, our post dinner plans caused a controversy that turned the perfectly prepared meal into a bit of a train wreck.

There seemed to be a bit of a disagreement that spiraled into other areas of our relationship over whether we would spend a romantic evening at home alone or a night out on the town dancing at the club formerly known as Montage.

“Have you had a lot of tables with drama tonight?” Nick pointedly asked the waitress when she came to take our orders. I immediately knew that our “dessert to be shared” at the end of the meal was going to be awkward…

An uphill battle
Little to my knowledge, my friend Hunter was in Los Angeles and not fairing so well either. He enjoyed the sunny weather by taking a hike up Runyon Canyon, a favorite recreational activity on any nice day in LA. However, he found his fun loving single life being scrutinized by everyone else who was hiking the Hollywood Hills.

“It was like all couples were holding hands,” Hunter explained as we walked to lunch at Craft in Century City. “I was like, fuck my life.”

Before I could even offer my condolences he launched into his continued Valentines misadventures, “It gets worse by the way. I hooked up with this guy and after he was like, ‘So if we ever see each other on the street, just walk on by. I’m not out.’ I was like, are you f-ing kidding me? That’s my own line I use on guys I don’t want to see again!”

Expect the unexpected
My friend Steve likes to celebrate his “Day With A Gay” once a year and this year was no exception; he gathered up a bunch of our straight co-workers and took them to The Abbey, which is more like a straight bar where gay’s are the main attraction these days.

Of course I missed out on the excitement since I was in San Diego for the House Boi pre-Valentines Party and Military Madness at Richs. On the upside, Steve couldn’t wait to tell me all about the drama at work the next week.

“Mike made out with Cammie!” He blurted out to me while we were getting coffee.

For the record, Mike is gay, like really GAY and Cammie is not. The fact is, Cammie is a girl. And therein lies the drama.

“It was nuts!” He went on to say. “It wasn’t just a kiss. It was like a full on make out session. Like, I looked away and looked back and they were still going at it!

“That’s not awkward at all,” I said bluntly.

“I saw her on Sunday, and she was like, ‘I cannot believe I did that!!’ but they were making out for a long time," Steve added. "Like not a joke make out! She said she thinks she blacked out for part of the night.”

Being the expert I am on such things, I pointed out, “That's called repressed memories.”

Tough love
Just because we had gotten into our first fight at Valentine's dinner, didn’t mean things were over between Nick and I. Actually, far from it because neither one of us wants to give up on something this good. So after going back to our respective corners (or cities as the case may be) we continued to talk and work through some of the issues that led to the Valentines Massacre of 2010 (as I am jokingly calling it).

Nick brought up a conversation he had with his friend Pete about the situation, and said we are a lot like Pete and his partner of 5 years, Mike. Turns out while they may be the perfect couple, they started out just like us…one of them is a left-brained East Coast banker and the other a right-brained West Coast artist and it’s about finding the common ground.

Or as Nick put it, “I see things in black and white logic; you see things with shades of gray and emotions.”

And being the right-brained creative type, all I could think of was “Are we going to end up like feuding East Coast-West Coast rap families?”

Back on track
Everyone plans out in their head how they want things in their life to turn out. From romantic nights with a loved one, to the freedom of being single, everyone thinks they know what they want. The thing is, you never know when a wrench is going to get thrown into those plans and you end up in an unexpected position; sometimes one that you regret after some time.

It’s hard enough living life on your own and keeping yourself happy. When you’re in a relationship you are not alone anymore and while that can be a very good thing, you’ve got to remember what you say and do, don’t just affect you anymore. If you want to keep things on the right track, don’t be afraid to compromise and look at things from the other perspective. It might just open your eyes so you can avoid a train wreck!

Travis D. Bone is a Los Angeles based writer and a graduate of the University of California at San Diego. After spending 13 years in San Diego where his journalism efforts earned him a San Diego Press Club award he took his chances on moving to Los Angeles to become a television writer. Now he’s working in finance for a studio, so that didn’t turn out quite the way he expected. On the upside he’s still writing, still single and still living it up splitting time between Los Angeles and San Diego. In short he’s got a lot of stories to tell.