If you are one of those who hate Valentine’s Day with a passion, feel free to skip this post. In fact, I’d have to question your sanity if you continued.
Tell you what. The rest of us will wait while you go somewhere a little less depressing for the broken hearted, the lonely, and those just sick of Hallmark holidays. (No, we don’t do Sweetest Day around here, so I feel your pain. Just not today.)
Are they gone yet? Good.
I’m not unsympathetic. Three years ago, last week, as I sat in a Chicago hotel room watching the Superbowl, I was pondering my post-marital life. By the time I returned to Cincinnati, I had decided I would pitch the idea of becoming BigHugeCo’s on-site technician in Chicago. (Here’s irony for you. I now work for the guy who started up one of the stand-alone IT groups for BigHugeCo in Chicagoland.) Valentine’s Day? I’d probably spend it going over my NCAA bracket.
And then I met her. Actually, we’d met during my short career as a standup comedian. During one of those online conversations that often sprout up between people on the old MySpace (Is that even still around?), we started trading humorous barbs. Her name was Juanita, and she was a single mom. I said we ought to meet up for drinks. Nothing serious, just being social. I was so timid about dating that I half-expected to blurt out “Hey, do you know any nice girls?” (To the newly divorced/widowed/back into circulation: Only ask your married friends of the opposite sex that.) The only day we could get together was Valentine’s Day. My reasoning was that I was separated, she was alone, so why not at least have a good Valentine’s Day we’d remember.
How memorable was it?
This is Nita on our wedding day four months later. We fell that hard for each other. So Valentine’s Day will always be special to me because that’s when this woman became my lover, my best friend, and eventually my wife. It’s been an eventful three years, one in which we moved twice, suffered a couple of rough illnesses, sent our boy AJ off to Germany before promptly bringing him back when the school trip went sour, and endured both salary cuts and unemployment together. Much of what has happened to this family is usually enough to fill five or ten years. I don’t mind a bit.
Because, since three years ago today, I’ve never been happier.
I love you, Sweet Rose, with all my heart.