Karen and I have an arrangement.
That arrangement is to observe Valentine’s Day more carefully than our anniversary. This isn’t because of any serious date conflict, as our anniversary falls in the summer. Rather, it’s because that Valentine’s Day is an anniversary of its own, the anniversary of our first date.
After having talked for a couple of weeks on a social network that was respectable at the time, we had lunch on campus at the university where were both grad students. We made arrangements to go out the following Tuesday, and it was that weekend that my co-workers reminded me that the following Tuesday was Valentine’s Day. How stupid to go out on a date with a girl you really like but had only just met on that most romantic day of the year? You have to play it just right…not overboard, but not ignoring the event, either. I could have bored her, or I could have scared her away.
Fortunately, I did neither, and six months later we were married. So, we’ve always been very careful to observe Valentine’s Day, as it was quite truthfully the evening that we first fell in love.
Last year’s Valentine’s was our first with out daughter. After making plans to have a family member watch her, our daughter wasn’t feeling well, and neither, truthfully, were either of us, so we stayed home and watched an old black and white movie. Nothing overly extravagant, but its where we were at the time. This year found us having just moved into a new apartment and, as I’m a full time student for a few more months, not exactly rolling in cash. We were able, though, to order out from one of our favorite restaurants. Then we put our daughter to bed for the night, and watched a movie from one of Karen’s favorite directors, a movie that I took her to see on our honeymoon.
I paused to reflect on where the adventure of life has taken us since that first Valentine’s Day dinner and coffee. We were poor students then, as well, and I don’t think that I could ever have predicted where our adventure would take us. Regardless of how elaborate or simple our Valentine’s Days are in the future, though, I wouldn’t trade that decision that I made, on our first date nonetheless, to propose to this beautiful woman that is my wife.
“It’s an adventure!”is her motto about life, and indeed it has been, is, and will be. I can’t imagine taking this journey without her at my side.
Here’s to many adventures to come!