Their First Valentine’s Day, Almost Their Last

RoseI wasted no time missing the mark on Valentine’s Day with the woman who would eventually be my wife.

The setting was college, the mood was mostly rowdy, and the time was very early on in our relationship.  We landed on each other’s “potential hookup” radar at the beginning of the school year as a result of being neighbors in off-campus housing.  Throw in a dash of my winning charm during the tour of our house I gave her and her roommates when we all first met, and the table was set for love.  A sideways glance here, a wave there, and a “Hey, what’s up?” when passing each other in the 711 parking lot were just a few of the appetizers that lead to that one fateful night of us simply talking and laughing for hours by ourselves on my back deck.  Right then and there we both knew something was up.  Naturally there was another guy from another school that was still lingering around a little, but we had a connection and I knew it was only a matter of me not messing things up for us to continue.

Easier said than done.

Enter January, a visit from this guy, complications arising from cold feet about the seriousness of our new relationship, and we were done as quickly as we started.  But this was college, we were convenient for each other and not to mention both denying our true feelings, so we loosely got back together not long afterwards.  Valentine’s Day approached and we agreed it’s a silly day and would make no big deal out of it.  But what fun is that?  Thinking I had game, I decided to throw caution to the wind and get her flowers.  To summarize – college fling, flowers.

The mistake – I totally fumbled the football by putting the flowers in my fridge and trying some weird move where I asked her to get me a drink in hopes that my flower surprise would sweep her off her feet in that exact, fridge opening instant.  The result – she ended up being confused if the flowers were for her or not, then upon realizing they were, found the whole thing very strange and got bugged out.  The aftermath – this definitely created some distance between us and almost was the end of our relationship.  The following were an awkward few weeks, but luckily I was able to rally and convince this awesome woman that I was the one for her, and on March 10 (or 11th, depending on who you ask) we declared “falling for each other” and the rest is history.

While it may not come across that well in words, the feeling I had in my gut between the giving of those flowers and when we actually patched things up was excruciating.  I tend to over-think, and this was one of those times I was convinced my silly brain ruined one of the best things to ever happen to me.  Many great years and two wonderful boys later, I’m grateful it did not.

To this day we laugh about that story, but also continue to view Valentine’s Day as no big deal.  We have a small cooking tradition we do every year and that’s really about it.  These days, when I have the urge to profess my love for my wife in grand fashion, it’s not done on the over-orchestrated national holiday dedicated to such.

Stay tuned for the story of our first date where I balanced the cliché of bringing her to see the movie Titanic by taking her to the Chinese buffet attached to the gas station afterwards.

Please be sure to check out more Valentine’s Day misfires in this week’s Round Table Discussion: A Valentine’s Day Round Table

Brad the Dad can be reached at and found on: Twitter|Facebook|Pinterest


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Enjoy a unique, fresh and entertaining perspective on parenting as Brad the Dad learns what it takes to raise 2 boys in today's world. #DadsRT co-founder.

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  1. You had nowhere to go but up, right? 😉

  2. Jen says:

    The fragile “don’t mess this up stage” is often one of the most difficult to overcome for sure…especially at that age. Glad you and the Mrs. were able to survive the “wilted flower incident” and move on to some real romance at a restaurant with a sneeze guard 🙂 I’m suddenly very nostalgic for my early 20’s…and want an egg roll real bad…

    • Lol, hilarious stuff, Jen. For such a great comment I will also let you know that I was too embarrassed by my own car (my window wouldn’t shut all the way and rain would get in and well, wet butt), so I borrowed a buddy’s car to take her on this magical, sneeze guard filled first date.

  3. Al says:

    Man oh man, you honestly brought me back to a few points in my life with this story. The over-thought display of emotion ( and cleverness) that falls flat, not to mention rubs them the wrong way. In my case it was a heart shaped pizza that I baked ( she thought I just took one out of the freezer and cut it up). Still chuckle about that.

    So how about the inverse? Ever have something that just fell into place that you got credit for?
    Example: first trip we took together ( to Ireland) happened to be over her birthday ( but was with a whole group of friends) and I totally forgot it. As it happens, the swank hotel we were staying in delivered a basket of goodies to our room as complimentary gift…and it included a cd she loved with romantic songs. Still can’t bring myself to tell her 13 years later. Still the only 5 star I have ever stayed in but man it was worth it!

  4. Loved this post! It’s funny how things all work out. Well done!

  5. Andrea says:

    So funny! Glad it all worked out:)

  6. James Hudyma says:

    This story is an excellent example of how good things get messed up over the weirdest stuff. One weird look or awkward silence sends our minds racing for worst case scenarios and before you know it there’s this disconnect and when you look back you can’t even begin to understand why it was such a big deal.

    I’m an over-thinker too and could quite possibly be the king of making mountains of mole hills.

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