That's when we knew Denise was winding up for one of her legendary rants.
Brilliant woman. She worked at the frame shop in her time off to relax. To do stuff that involved doing stuff with your hands, not your brain. In her real life, she was a Ph.D. student in archeology and worked at the U. of Penn museum.
In this case, the special place in Hell was reserved for the person who invented Valentine's Day, and for the bastards at Hallmark who made it such a huge fucking deal.
You see, Valentine's Day, she claimed (and she is, of course, right) responsible for the destruction of far too many relationships than is reasonable. Why?
Well, for people who are in relationships, there's a certain expectation of performance, and an associated disappointment should either or both parties fail to deliver. There's guesswork involved. What will s/he like? Something new? Or is that a risk of failure? Or should you go with something "safe," a known quantity, and risk being "boring"? There's always a risk of breakup over a valentine's day date or gift that fails to meet expectations, OR that a gift overwhelms expectations, and the recipient is unable/unwilling to reciprocate.
And of course, there's the relationships that SHOULD have happened that won't, because of Valentine's Day came along, and one party was expecting the other to do something, and the other was afraid to do anything for fear of messing up a friendship.
And then there's the friendships that should have been safe, friendships between a person who loves their friend and the friend who doesn't really feel the same. Except Valentine's Day came along, one person takes a gamble, and the other "feels weird" about it ever after.
Ruined relationships. Ruined friendships. Relationships that never happen.
Thank you, Creators of Valentine's Day.