This Valentine’s Day I sit reflecting on V-Day 2020. Jessi (my daughter) and I were living with my brother and his family, sharing a queen-size bed, and broke AF. It was a sad day as we’d just found out why Jessi’s tax return hadn’t made it to the bank. The Department of Education snatched that shit away leaving us with tumble-weeds in the bank account. Of course, we were depending on that money for you know— to survive. She was pissed! I was to receive a payout for a copy-editing job I did for a client, but we couldn’t get our hands on that until the next day. So here we were, on Valentine’s Day with no grub to eat.
Lying there, we both were thinking, “Man, Subway would be so good right now.” Then I was like, “Screw this! This isn’t our first rodeo.” We’d scraped up money before and we could do it again. So we made a game of it, searching for loose change like the old days in the trailer. We searched all the usual spots in the bedroom, keeping a tally sheet of every piece of silver we could find, adding that to the seven-plus dollars we had in the account. Pockets of all types of clothing were raided and purses dumped. Then we hit up the Altima. There’s always change hiding in the nooks and crannies of cars. Our bounty was adding up. Next, we hit the kitchen and bathroom drawers and the catch-alls around the house. There are always nickels and dimes hanging out in those spots.
It was getting down to the wire. We only needed a few more coins. “Ah! I know where a dime is,” I exclaimed as we burst into the workout room. I remember seeing it discarded in the corner when I was in downward dog the other day. Finally, we thought we had enough. not just for a sandwich, but for a couple of cookies too. We made our way to the car and headed to Subway.
Success! Not only did we get our 6” subs and oatmeal raisin cookies, but we had enough left over to score a bag of potato chips from Dollar Tree. We were tickled pink as we headed back to the house to enjoy our Subway dinner, with dessert, to binge-watch some shit on Netflix. To top it off, there was a Michelob and a White Claw in the fridge, so we toasted our delicious haul and enjoyed our Valentine’s.
While these were challenging times, the Universe came through for us that day, even sealing the deal with a heart-shaped potato chip. We hustled, and we laughed at all the synchronicities of that day. But most of all we were grateful. As you all know, COVID-19 hit soon after that. And a few weeks after all of our lives changed forever, the Department of Education deposited Jessi’s tax money into her bank account. Covid changed everything, but we were thankful that they returned the money. Silver-linings are everywhere; you just have to be aware enough to see them. Jessi and I had many moments like that last year; little miracles amongst the horror and inconvenience of this virus. But that’s how 2020 rolled for us.
This Valentine’s I’m here in an empty house and Jessi is in Colorado. We both have way more than seven dollars in our bank accounts, as we Facetime remembering last year’s antics. I’m so glad we decided to make our misfortune a fun little game. It makes me smile to think back on that day. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read my little Valentine’s Day 2020 story. Cheers to all of you and I wish you all happiness and love.
Sidenote: Please excuse any glaring grammatical errors, my Grammarly subscription needs to be renewed 🙂