My husband and I first met on a blind date. We were fixed up by a mutual friend (someone who, ironically, is no longer a friend). He had telephoned me on this day in 1994, and, after the dreaded obligatory small talk, asked if I’d like to have lunch with him. Lunch is good for a first date, much better than dinner, in my opinion. Lunch meant I would have to get back to work within the hour. So I agreed.
“How about Monday then?” he asked. I didn’t say anything right away.
Then I said, “You’re kidding, right?” Silence. “I’m not having our first date on Valentine’s Day! Too much pressure!”
I laughed it off, but really, I’d experienced plenty of miserable Valentine’s Days in the previous twenty years, and I wasn’t about to risk yet another. And he didn’t realize it was Valentine’s Day. So we agreed to meet for lunch in downtown Providence the Friday after Valentine’s Day. Four months later we were engaged, and four months after that we were married.
Since then, Valentine’s Day has offered us both sweet and heartbreaking memories: violent stomach bugs, flu, a disastrous getaway, a new puppy, miscarriage. February 14th is really just a day. Show some love (to anyone: a parent, child, pet, stranger!), try to avoid the nonsense, make dinner reservations for the 13th or the 15th. Seriously.