Story time: Valentine’s Day

Valeria Mancera-Saavedra, Staff Writer

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Valentine’s day sets Cupid into work mode to make it the most romantic day of the year. It’s a day full of plans, surprises, or both that makes the day unique for each couple, leaving them a story to tell, good or not so good, but always one to remember.

Maggie Im, Manager of Student Support Services at Elgin Community College, and her husband have been married for 15 years. They do not usually celebrate Valentine’s day, but after 3 years of marriage her husband thought it would be a good idea to surprise her with dinner.

“My husband doesn’t cook, ever, and that day he made a mess, that’s why I remember.” I’m said, “Normally, I’m the one who does the shopping and cooking.”

Maggie’s husband had the perfect evening planned. A delicious dish of pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce and pan-seared shrimp. Don’t picture, dear readers, Gordon Ramsay expertly sauteing vegetables, mixing shrimp and sauce and pasta with the expertise of a professional. Picture instead the living image of the phrase “good intentions.” Maggie’s husband’s ambitions far outweighed his ability, and as such, he spent as much time on the phone with his friend who could cook, as he did preparing the meal.

“I find it funny because he would call his friend to ask him simple things like how to melt the butter in the microwave. He wasted a lot of ingredients. He had to do it more than once because he messed up the first time,” Im said.

Maggie would come home to a delicious smell, a cooked meal. She thought it was something nice and different; he prepared dinner instead of going out to a restaurant or doing nothing at all. Dinner was done and it looked delicious, the only problem was that Maggie couldn’t concentrate on it. As delicious as the meal was, the only thing Maggie could concentrate on was all the dirty pots and pans.

“I saw everything he had done for me, and I really appreciated it, but I couldn’t help looking at the mess. It wasn’t romantic with all the pots, and the ingredients, and the dirt in the kitchen,” Im said.

In spite of everything, it was a delicious dinner.

“I had to clean up after we finished, and since then he has not cooked again,” Im said.


A beautiful story with sweet intentions, some ECC students decided to share some more embarrassing stories.

“You want to know about my most memorable Valentine’s Day? It started off with a text from my girlfriend in high school. It read, ‘I’ve got a secret for you.’ So I drove to her house to see what this so-called ‘secret’ was. When I came to her house to find out, she gave me three big bags of candy, a poster with video game puns all over it (we both are video game nerds), and a bucket with a gorilla stuffed animal in it. She told me that she picked a gorilla because it reminded her of how warm I am always am. I thought it was so sweet.”

-Gerardo Avalos, a second-year student at ECC.


“I was dating this guy from Urbana. We’ll call him Red for the sake of privacy. It was a long distance relationship, so naturally, I would mail him cute letters and all. When Valentine’s day came around, I sent Red this big box with homemade cookies, memes, a CD, a photo of us, and a cute letter (Duh). I visited him that weekend. I didn’t get any flowers, chocolates, a letter, or anything really significant. We didn’t go on a cute date either. We just stayed in his dorm and watched a movie. After that weekend, I decided to break up with Red because I wasn’t getting the same amount of effort as he was. I suppose my point of this story is this: Whether it’s short or long distance, gay or straight, first or second partner, don’t hesitate to ask for your partner’s honest opinion. Do they share the same goals in the relationship?”


“We were in the city for Valentines day, spending Valentines on a rooftop bar, a really classy place with nice drinks and music. The only problem was that the guy I was seeing had a bit much to drink, and was getting a little… shall we say… carried away with the public displays of affection. We stayed there for hours and hours, with me telling him to ease up on the touchy-feely, since we were out in public. After about the third time I walked away from him, he tried to follow me, and I pulled off that classic movie trope: I turned around and threw my drink all over him, in front of everybody. I walked off alone, and ended up at a McDonalds around 1AM. Chowing down on a Big Mac while I waited for my ride was the best part of my night.

-Y.F. ECC student.

“I was seeing this girl for only a few weeks and decided I wanted to put together a surprise for her. I took her to a nice (AKA expensive) Italian restaurant and had a beautiful night set for her. We ate, and then I took her to this park I used to work at, we arrived there around 7 P.M. as the sun was going down and I pulled a picnic basket out of the trunk of my car, and we walked to an open part of the park, where a field surrounded us on all sides. Under the moonlights I pulled out chocolates, a music box, some flowers, and a portable speaker, on which I played some soft music. I was very nervous, but I asked her to slow dance, and she agreed. Under the moonlight, we danced to the “Ghost on the Shore” by the band Lord Huron. We didn’t dance very gracefully, actually, we kind of tripped over each other actually, but it was really sweet nonetheless.

-Anonymous ECC student

About the Writer
Valeria Mancera-Saavedra, Staff Writer

I’m earning an Associate in Arts degree at ECC and later transferring to a 4-year university for Journalism. This is my second year here at ECC. I decided...

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Story time: Valentine’s Day