V is for Valentine’s Day

V is for Valentine’s Day. My husband and I have a great Valentine’s Day story. We’ve been married for 15 years and we still love to reminisce about it.

Our Valentine’s Day story goes back to when we were dating. I had casually mentioned to Kevin that I wasn’t really big on Valentine’s Day celebrations. I didn’t relish the cheesy trappings of the commercialized holiday: heart shaped boxes of chocolate, teddy bears holding roses. No thanks. That wasn’t me and I didn’t want him to feel any pressure. Unfortunately for me he listened and it was a terribly unromantic Valentine’s Day.

We lived an hour and a half apart and I had driven to Attleboro to spend the weekend with him. He was working for adidas as a sales rep at the time and the plan was to head into Boston to go to the “Valentine’s Day Track Meet” in Roxbury. “We don’t have to stay long, he assured me, but I need to go for work.” “Okay,” I agreed. It was awful. It was dark, noisy and full of smelly runners. He worked as fast as he could and we left the track meet. Surly he had something else planned. “Since we’re in Boston do you mind if we stop to see my friend Dirk. He helps me with my taxes and lives over on the Boston Common.” Taxes? On Valentine’s Day? At least the Boston Common is one step closer to the romantic North End. Maybe that’s his plan; dinner in the North End. “Okay,” I agreed.

He and Dirk did his taxes while I walked around Downtown Crossing. “So where are you two love birds going to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the city?” Dirk asked when I returned. “I figured maybe we could grab some dinner. Do you have any suggestions?” Kevin asks Dirk. As the conversation continued it became clear that Kevin had no dinner reservations, no plan and apparently no clue he had a girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. We left the city and drove back to his apartment in Attleboro. Since we didn’t have a reservation, we decided to cut our losses and pick up some chicken at the supermarket. Our first cooking experience together was on Valentine’s Day in his apartment cooking plain chicken and sharing one Swiss Army knife to cut it. It was bleak.

When dinner was over I noticed that dessert was a package of “conversation hearts” given to him by his mom. I ate a few and picked up on that said “Marry Me” and tossed it to him. He ate that one but the very next weekend he proposed marriage to me with a conversation heart that said “Marry Me”. Turns out he is romantic.

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It was the worst Valentine’s Day date in the history of dates but it didn’t matter. I knew that Kevin was the one. I just didn’t realize he’d have the nerve to propose to me the very next weekend. What I learned is that Kevin is a good listener. I had told him I wasn’t big on Valentine’s Day celebrations and he listened. I suggested that he “Marry Me” and he listened. I learned, fifteen successful years later, to be very careful with my words.

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