What She Wants

Here's What Happened When The Truly Rich Lady Forgot About Valentine's Day

Is it really such a big deal?

Have I told you about that time when I, the Truly Rich Lady, totally forgot about that special day for people in love? Not yet? Well, it happened.

I forgot about Valentine’s Day, and my slip of the mind led to the release of unexpected feelings from my famous ex—yes, the Greatest Ex whom I keep yammering about and also keep forgetting to forget.

I can make jokes about this now. After all, it’s been an embarrassing number of years since we decided to have our conscious uncoupling, but in that time when we were in still love, it felt awful.

It was the expression on his face that made it so bad.

We didn’t make any plans for that day or, more correctly, I didn’t make any plans because I forgot it was a special day. (We usually took turns planning special days, and it was my turn this time).  What's worse, he even assumed I was cooking up a surprise because I didn’t bring up the occasion at all. Maybe dinner at the museum I would have shut down for him? Maybe a private concert from the broken-up band I paid to reunite for one night? Of course, these did not happen because I was too caught up in myself.

On that day, I remember he sent a reminder about our meeting at five in the afternoon. And I replied, “Greatest Ex, I will be in front of the hotel entrance at five. See you.” A few minutes before the appointed time, I gathered my stuff and made my way out of the building. And then I bumped into a Truly Rich Friend, who insisted I have coffee with her. And I said, “Okay, friend.” (Friend, if you are reading this, it is your fault.)


By the time I came to my senses, the sun had set and there were several missed calls on my phone. I rushed outside and hopped into the back seat of the idling car. He looked at me expectantly and I smiled at him. I thought he was being very weird.

The driver pulled into the road, heading to what I assumed was his house. For a while, we traveled in silence; I, tired from the day’s work and he, seemingly lost in thought. A light shower began to fall, coating everything in the slick of glittering water.

Finally, he said, “Si-si, it’s Valentine’s Day.”

My face turned red. “Oh my, God,” I stammered. “I forgot, Ex. I’m so sorry! We should go out to dinner. At our usual place? Or something? What do you want to do? Tell me.”

I don’t remember what he said, but I do remember his beautiful face and how it fell. It was as if I plunged a dagger into his heart. It was like I told him a puppy died. Maybe it was also the moment he realized he had a buffoon for a girlfriend.

So what did a Truly Rich Lady like Si-si Coo do after committing a grievous error? Well, she cracked a joke: “C’mon now, Ex. Valentine’s Day isn’t really us, right? Chocolates and roses are silly. Hearts are for losers.”

For a long time, he didn't say anything. He gazed into the darkness that was swallowing the city and let the silence between us grow into an unbearable loudness. And so I got irritated—because, obviously, as the person who made the mistake, I had every right to be mad.

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I couldn’t understand why he making such a big deal about it. We can celebrate tomorrow. We can fly out on the weekend. We can exchange candy and flowers every day, in fact, if he wanted to. I went back and forth between saying this was very stupid and asking what he wanted to do now. I was a crazy lady.

After several frustrating minutes, he finally said, “Sometimes, I need to hear the words, Si-si.

You didn’t even say ‘Happy Valentine’s Day.’ Or ‘I love you.’”

Well, that was a surprise. I never ever thought he'd bothered by all this touchy-feely stuff, especially since he was, as in the tradition of Truly Rich Persons, a great wall of impassive emotion. Shouldn’t I be the soft-hearted one? And shouldn't he be the indelicate one?

To be clear, he wasn’t in a stone-cold mood as what most people think a man would be. Ex was sad and therefore quiet, which just spun me into all sorts of emotions. His undisguised heart cut me up, making me feel like a guilty, stupid, awful, and over-all bad person.

Despite my pleading to save Valentine’s Day, we ended up parting ways. And when he sadly dropped me off at my house after handing me bouquets of roses and boxes of chocolate, I knew I messed up. I vowed to do whatever it took to win him back.

But we all know how that turned out. Not even my utter disregard for dignity or a high threshold for desperation would save our relationship. That episode set things in motion, and after a few more years, the wheels fell off. He eventually sent me away to wherever Great Exes send their old girlfriends to: A farm? Heaven? Spinsterhood? Bitterness?


What I’ve learned is that I need a more capable assistant who will be one step ahead of me. I want someone who will remind me about important dates and also plan the important date, gifts included, on the important date. I also want someone who will shoo away distractions such as a Truly Rich Friend on a coffee break.

Okay, okay, no more jokes, Si-si.

What I'm really trying to say is that there is no need to wait for Valentine’s Day, a birthday, an anniversary, or any other special occasion to show how much you love a person. Actually, stop reading this gibberish right now and cover your significant other with kisses. Tell him you love him. Ask him out to dinner. Netflix and chill.

Please don’t be like me, the Truly Rich Lady, who, so caught up in herself, forgot to do anything. I didn't even say the words.

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C.C. Coo
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