Valentine’s Day Memories

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us. I like excuses for lavishing love and kindness on others. I’m not necessarily good at spontaneous love lavishing so it helps to have an occasion. In honor of this special day, I thought it’d be fun to share some of my past Valentine’s Day experiences. Here are four that were all very different. In order to be as accurate as possible, I consulted my journals (which date back to 1991). Enjoy!

Valentine’s Day 2001

My roomie and my friend, who are now married

I was a freshman in college and had very recently broken up with my first college boyfriend. I had met him through another friend at college (they were roommates) and my roommate and I hung out with them all the time. We still hung out some (albeit a little awkwardly) after the break up and the guys decided that they would take us ladies out to dinner and our school’s home basketball game on Valentine’s Day. They told us to dress up so we did. They showed up in coats and ties and brought us roses and chocolate. We went to Waffle House (my first time at that establishment) for dinner and then headed to the game. We had court-side seats for the game. My friend sat between the guys and I sat on the far side of my non-ex guy friend. We were having a pretty good time watching our beloved Wolfpack play. Then the Kiss Cam started making rounds. It stopped on my roommate and my ex. Awkward. The cameraman eventually moved on. Our team won big.

Valentine’s Day 2002

A valentine rose

My sophomore year of college I was dating my second college boyfriend (of three, if you’re curious). We had been dating for almost a year. He had a plan for us but didn’t have a driver’s license so on Valentine’s Day I was being fed directions to parts unknown. We ended up at a gem mining place. He bought us a bag of dirt and we sluiced in search of emeralds (my birthstone) and topaz. I enjoyed the creativity and novelty of the date but it did not hit my radar for romantic or sentimental (I’m a big words person and a card with a hand-written note goes a looooooooong way with me. But, according to my journal, he gave me a letter he had forgotten the day before.). In hindsight, I was struggling with feelings that we were not right for each other and was hoping the holiday would give me evidence to the contrary (which it didn’t).

Here’s some additional interesting information from around this event.

I had begun a friendship with a guy in my Statistics for Engineers class. A few days before Valentine’s Day he asked me what I was doing for the holiday (in my naivety I didn’t realize that it was a feeler to see if a date might be possible). I said that I was probably doing something with my boyfriend (the first mention of him to my friend). That was the end of that…or was it?

Valentine’s Day 2003

Yes, that’s us

[Disclaimer: This is my very favorite Valentine’s Day experience so sorry if it’s long and rambling.]

I had been dating my boyfriend for six months (four of which I was studying abroad in Spain). I liked him very much and was dying to express such feelings to him but wanted to wait until he said he loved me first. [Early in our relationship he had told me that he was only going to say “I love you” to the person he was planning to marry. I told him to take his time. Also, while I was studying abroad I experienced that pivotal moment when I knew (with no actual evidence) that he was “the One” and I would marry him. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who has had this epiphany where you “just know”.)] According to my journal, I was struggling with this decision not to say anything a few days before V Day and told Adam who told me to “wait and trust him”.

So Valentine’s Day was day was here and I had gotten him a Foxtrot comic strip book and could not figure out how to sign off on my card. I ended up writing “XOXO” (I believe) instead of “Love”. Anyway, he came over to my apartment in the morning to pick me up for class and brought me six red roses, each with a little heart on them sharing one of his memories of our first six months of dating. There was also a card inviting me to a home-cooked dinner at his apartment that evening. I was quite excited!

Yes, I still have them all in a scrabook

In the evening I headed over to his apartment with my gift for him. He had prepared a London broil, baked potatoes and broccoli casserole, all delicious. (He had cooked for me previously so I had an inkling of his culinary talents.) During dinner he told me that he had purchased us tickets to see Phantom of the Opera (I had seen it in Spain – in Spanish, of course – and was interested in seeing it in English as well). We watched America’s Sweethearts and ate some fruit with chocolate dipping sauce for dessert (mmm, chocolate-dipped strawberries!).

After the movie, I shared that I was struggling with not sharing my feelings with him and felt I was being selfish (since I knew the ramifications for him). He said that he had been deciding on a way to share his feelings with me. He then pulled out a paper and started reading me a list of things he liked about me. Part way in he (accidentally?) replaced “like” with “love” and my mind started freaking out. He continued his list but I had tuned out (this is a recurring theme in big moments with him, see also: marriage proposal) and was focused on my inner monologue. Oh my goodness!  He just said “love”, not “like”! Does this mean he loves me?! Is he going to say it?! Oh man…! (Not direct quotes, obviously.) He finished his list and then told me he loved me. I hugged him and whispered it back because I had been tearing up during his list and was too emotional to speak properly.

Still makes me smile.

Valentine’s Day 2007

This was our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple. Not particularly gushy but still huge. We spent several hours in a conference room with some lawyers and another couple signing legal documents until our hands wanted to fall off. That’s right, we bought our FIRST HOUSE on Valentine’s Day! It wasn’t really planned that way. I don’t have a journal entry from this monumental occasion so I’ll speculate that we spent some time freaking out at the huge life decision we had just made. We probably went out to dinner still with the “deer in headlights” look.

In front of our first house

I would love to hear about a memorable Valentine’s Day of yours. Awkward, romantic, silly, sweet, cringe-worthy, whatever. Share your stories!
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