Valentine's Day relates best to the most romantic of heart, and I used to be one of those people, but age and life has jaded me.
And trust me, my past with women should be the thing that makes me hate the month of February more than anything, but that's hard to do now considering my wife's birthday is in February. And that I have two daughters who generally enjoy the holiday - more for the candy when they were younger, but now as teenagers, because of that chance at young love.
Which I am totally against ... sort of.
Maybe it's because I don't want their hearts to be broken, and trust me, I know about heartbreak. How many guys do you know who've gotten dumped twice - on New Year's Eve - over a three-year span?
That's right, yours truly dated women who decided to break it off on one of the most expensive nights of the year for single people in their 20s. I can remember my little brother, Tom, once telling me that if he were me, he wouldn't even look at a woman the last week of December.
And can we add embarrassment to heartbreak here? Yes, we can.
After the second official dump of Dec. 31, 1991, a buddy of mine decided to take me to the Belmar Hotel that night to get my mind off the day's events. He even found me a table with three female friends of ours for some company. And it was working ... until ... my parents showed up.
I don't know how it works today, but back in 1991, the Belmar actually allowed parents into their establishment, which wasn't too hard for my folks, considering they lived right around the corner. Not only did my parents come into the Belmar, but my mother, who was not drunk mind you, comes up to my table, screaming joyously that even though I got dumped that day, she still loved me, and that these three ladies should try to love me, too. But in a proper way, mind you.
I kid you not.
Incidentally, none of those three women got to love me, and all three ended up with men not named Scott, and with mother-in-laws not named Jeannie.
But I digress.
Because my daughters are going to need me to cheer them up should they receive a Valentine's Day card, or a box of chocolate some day, from a suitor - only to have the guy fall for someone else a few months down the road.
Hopefully, the heartbreak won't cost them a $50 ticket to a New Year's Eve party that is non-refundable. But it'll be alright because their dad still loves them. I just won't announce it out loud at the Belmar in front of hundreds of people.
I'll be more subtle. I'll just write a column in the Mirror for about 74,000 eyeballs to read.
Scott Franco is a member of the Altoona Mirror sports staff, a husband and a father of four. His column appears monthly. He can be reached at 946-7528 or firstname.lastname@example.org.