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