I’ll be honest. Up until about 1990, I’ve hated Valentine’s Day. Prior to that, it was a constant reminder that I had no life, no job worth keeping long term, and no prospects. And no girlfriend. That part sucked royally. My late teens and early twenties were, frankly, miserable.
2007 should have resumed the suckage, but that was the day the previous spouse and I closed on Rancho Winter. Things were already unraveling by then, but getting a house proved to be a boon to both of us. If it didn’t save the marriage, the resulting boost in credit, not to mention getting the hell out of a deteriorating apartment building, made a nice “Thanks for putting up with me for so long” present to each other.
That said, I expected 2008 to be the first of many lousy Valentine’s Days to come. Oh, there were prospects. And I had a decent job. But let’s be honest. I was in the process of dismantling my old life after almost two decades. No matter how friendly a couple is in that process, it sucks. Big time.
And then came Nita. Around the time the Patriots and the Giants were preparing to remind football fans that the season ends after the Superbowl, I’d started communicating with a lady on MySpace who liked my standup work. We’d already met briefly at a gig. It began innocently enough. She posted one of those surveys that everyone seems to post on MySpace. I took the test and came up with some snarky responses.
The snarky responses became an attempt to line up schedules and see if we could meet for drinks.
By the time we figured each other’s schedule, I realized Valentine’s Day was the soonest we could get together. I was looking for social, not a date. But this being Valentine’s Day, I decided that a separated man and a divorced woman ought to at least spoil each other instead of watching the rest of the planet from the sidelines.
It was love at first sight. We had three more dates that same week. I began staying over soon after that. Her son took to me, or at least tolerated me, surprisingly fast. (I’m even more surprised now that I know him so well.)
Ever since my divorce became common knowledge, I got all kinds of advice on how to pick up, deal with, and (confusingly) dump women. All of it was bad. I simply told Nita who I was and where I was at in life. I was honest because I didn’t know how to do anything else.
Shortly after my birthday, I dropped to my knees one Sunday night and asked her to marry me. We married last June.
A year later?
I can’t imagine my life being any different.
Nor would I want to.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweet Rose. I love you.