Valentine's Day has never been my favorite holiday. When I was single, it was probably because V-Day is the one day of the year everyone pities you if you have no significant other. Well, I spent many, many, many Valentine's Days without a date, so you can imagine why the holiday didn't endear itself to me.
Now, my attitude has changed. I still dislike the commercialization of love, the fact that Hallmark tells us to be romantic and honor love on February 14th and we all go along with it mindlessly, but I don't hate the day as I used to. Mostly this is because the first part of February is when Bil and I began dating 9 years ago and I have such fond memories of that time.
We were married three days before Christmas 2001, so our anniversary often gets short shrift. Who has time to commemorate our marriage when there are so many Christmas preparations to be done? And our anniversary happens to fall on my birthday, which only makes matters worse. (Yes, yes, I am one of those really inconsiderate fools who made family and friends attend a wedding only days before Christmas. I do have good reasons for choosing that date, though. Honestly, I do!)
So, when February rolls around and I am over all the Christmas and New Year's festivities, I have time to dwell on my relationship with Bil.
We met in October of 2000 when Bil moved from Vegas to Chicago to attend school. I developed a crush on him immediately after he introduced himself to me at church. This was pretty unusual; I hadn't met anyone in so long who interested me. It honestly surprised me to find a guy who was so nice, smart and cute, not to mention not at all creepy. When Bil asked me out at the beginning of February, I was ecstatic.
Our first two weeks of dating were quirky. Every time we made plans, we were thwarted: we got lost on the way to a church activity once, we couldn't get into a concert we had tickets to because Bil had lost his license, we were unable to get the DVD player to work and had to listen to North by Northwest with no picture (to this day, we still ask each other "Would you like a libation?"), and a record store we wanted to browse was closed. Yet, we had a blast every time. Each date, though it seemed disastrous, was wonderful, fun, exciting.
The moment I knew I could see a future for us happened on our first date. We were walking through a very icy Wicker Park on the way to the video store. You know, to rent the DVD that we were later unable to watch. Bil grabbed my hand when he saw the ice to ensure I wouldn't slip. Within seconds of him snaring my hand, Bil fell right on his tail. He was gracious and laughed along with me, and this figuratively and literally broke the ice.
On Valentine's Day that year, Bil made me dinner: pizzas with whole wheat crusts and a chocolate pie with a heart in the middle. I gave him some heart shaped sugar cookies. We didn't even kiss that night, but it was one of the most romantic evenings I have spent. Our first kiss came a couple nights later.
Our Valentine's Days since then have been much the same: simple and heartwarming. Rarely are roses involved and we never go out for steak, nor does Bil adorn me with diamonds.
And thank goodness, because I am not really a steak and roses and diamonds sort of girl. I'm more a daisies and a Cary Grant movie and good Thai food kind of gal. Which is just one reason why Bil and I are perfect for each other.
For more thoughts on Valentine's day, visit the Sprite's Keeper for this week's Spin Cycle.