Four Valentine’s Days In A Row

This is Nita, my wife, my best friend, the love of my life. And it was four years ago today we had our first date. It was on a lark, actually. I was separated. She had just broken up with her boyfriend. I wanted to get together with her for drinks. She had a boy and didn’t want to ditch him for some guy she’d met at a standup comedy show. I understood this. Going back into the dating pool for the first time in almost two decades, I understood this. In fact, I preferred women with kids. They likely would be more responsible.

But we couldn’t meet for drinks. Not until Valentine’s Day. So I suggested she let me take her out for dinner. At worst, I would get to spoil a beautiful woman on Singles Awareness Day.

It worked out better than expected. We had our third date by the end of the week. I was staying over regularly by the end of the month. I moved in by my birthday in May, when I also proposed to her. To call this a whirlwind romance is an understatement. Our first date was in February of 2008. We married in June.

As I said, she is my best friend. Oh, we clash now and then, but it’s usually hashed out rather quickly. But everything we do is about our future. And our boy’s future. It’s a life neither of us really envisioned for ourselves. I assumed I would be a bachelor forever, drifting from city to city with no ties and no responsibilities. On the downside, that also would have meant no real reason for being.

I have never been happier in my life. Nita made me comfortable enough with myself to go back to school. She made me a parent. Or rather her son, AJ, did by accepting me as something more than “Dude mom married.” Because I went back to school, Nita took a chance and also went. It’s fun. This fall, there will be three college students under our roof. All this because we took a chance on a Valentine’s date 4 years ago today.

Nita tells me I came about at the right time in their lives. They certainly came into mine at the right time.

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