February 14, 2008 · filed under love

lucky in love

Five Valentine’s Days ago, I was single. I was hardly alone, living with four girlfriends, two cats, and the social calendar of a typical sorority girl. But definitely single. I’m not sure if I ever had a boyfriend over Valentine’s Day in college, but I don’t think so because I barely ever had a boyfriend. I was kind of sick of it, too. It seemed like all my roommates and friends at least had someone to make out with on a regular basis.

I was ready to give up on meeting new boys and go back to my high school ex-boyfriend. I probably knew all along that was a bad idea but sometimes when you’re single anything seems better than nothing. Little did I know that two weeks later I would meet my future husband.

*****

Four Valentine’s Days ago was a world away. It was the final week of Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and I was losing my job. I had nowhere to live (unless you count my parents’ house, but my dad told me, “You don’t live here anymore,” so I don’t think that counts) and I thought I might have to say goodbye to this great guy who I was pretty sure I was in love with.

We had spent the last nine months together nearly 24/7, but we didn’t much talk about our relationship. We were too busy working and surviving and experiencing. We never talked about “us” and “the future” but it was clear that we were good for each other. We took chances together and we made a good team. But life could have easily led us apart at this juncture.

*****

Three Valentine’s Days ago we were “officially” living together, co-parents to fluffy gray cat. Plain, old, everyday living-in-sin life. What can I say? I didn’t have a blog then so I can’t go back and read about it. He probably got me flowers and a card with a cute kitten on it. I knew he was wonderful.

*****

Two Valentine’s Days ago we were engaged to be married. I was so thrilled to be obsessively planning; our beach wedding dreams were taking shape. I remember finally starting to feel like an adult and less like a teenager masquerading around as one. It aged me to think that I was old enough for people to trust me to make a decision about spending my whole life with someone.

*****

One Valentine’s Day ago we were newlyweds. We toasted each other in our pretty new crystal glasses and remembered the wedding vows still fresh in our minds. We talked about our wedding a lot still, and how perfect it was. We thought about what the year would bring: a new job and a new place to live, we hoped.

*****

This year Valentine’s Day will probably be like any other day. We won’t go out to a fancy dinner or exchange presents, but we will be together in our new home. And I’ll think about just how much life can change in five years, and how lucky I am to have found so much love.


29 Comments

  1. Angela
    February 14, 2008 12:27 am

    Very lucky indeed! Happy Valentine’s Day (almost!) :)

  2. Jenni
    February 14, 2008 12:48 am

    Cute post! :)

    Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!

  3. Jummy
    February 14, 2008 1:30 am

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Janet! I hope five years from now I’ll be able to reminisce with such fondness about a love I’ve found! So happy you’ve been lucky in love.

  4. Lele
    February 14, 2008 2:22 am

    Too cute. I have never been a fan of Valentine’s Day, but you made me like it for a moment because yours have been so sweet. Enjoy it!

  5. Lara
    February 14, 2008 2:32 am

    congratulations! i hope i can be as happy in five years. :)

  6. Kelly
    February 14, 2008 3:28 am

    Happy Valentine’s Day! And congrats, too.

    I used to be a hater, but it’s all working out now :D
    Hopefully in the next couple of years I’ll be able to share a similar story to you! I’m a couple of years behind. Engaged, though!

  7. cady
    February 14, 2008 7:54 am

    that’s such a sweet post. happy valentine’s day! i hope you have a great day with your sweetie.

  8. Nilsa S.
    February 14, 2008 8:58 am

    I love this post, Janet! My, how far you’ve come! Most of my Valentine’s Days have been much like yours will be this year. Only minus the husband/fiance/boyfriend. One of the most pathetic years was when I went to an anti-cupid pub crawl. Oh the desperation to land a date. So sad!

  9. RA
    February 14, 2008 9:32 am

    I like this retrospective very much! Isn’t it odd to see how much things have changed? But nice, too.

  10. Operation Pink Herring
    February 14, 2008 9:45 am

    It’s crazy, isn’t it? Five years ago today Joel made us a picnic on his floor in the house he shared with four other guys. Tonight we’ll be watching 2 hours of Lost and eating steaks that I had the good sense to defrost yesterday at our coffee table that doubles as a dining room table.

  11. elise
    February 14, 2008 10:32 am

    So sweet! Happy V-day :)

  12. Sarah
    February 14, 2008 11:06 am

    AWWW!!!

    What a nice V-day tribute! :)

  13. Jen
    February 14, 2008 11:09 am

    I met Dan right after deciding I was ‘done’ with boys for a while. Isn’t it funny how life happens right when you’ve made decisions like that? ;)

  14. ambitiousmrs
    February 14, 2008 11:36 am

    I couldn’t be happier that you (my friend who I love) have found someone to love you forever!

  15. Kim
    February 14, 2008 11:53 am

    Aw, ain’t love grand?

  16. Isabel
    February 14, 2008 12:00 pm

    So SWEET! Happy Valentines day to you and Andrew!

  17. Janssen
    February 14, 2008 12:53 pm

    What a great post – have a lovely day!

  18. Marisa
    February 14, 2008 1:32 pm

    I met my man on the campaign trail too. The timing and fortuitousness of it all still amazes. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  19. kris
    February 14, 2008 1:54 pm

    how very lovely. and inspiring, i might add!

  20. Princess Extraordinaire
    February 14, 2008 1:58 pm

    I love your tieline and hwo you ended up where you are now – it’s a storybook ending!

  21. Jen
    February 14, 2008 2:27 pm

    This is my first married Valentine’s Day, and I’m really looking forward to it. Our tradition is that we stay in and my husband cooks for me. This year he’s going all out–cheese fondue, steak, and homemade ice cream.

    I hope you have a lovely night, and congratulations on so much happiness!

  22. katelin
    February 14, 2008 2:34 pm

    What a sweet post, I love it.

    Happy Valentine’s Day! :)

  23. Michelle & the City
    February 14, 2008 3:39 pm

    valentine’s day IS like every other day. at least it should be. you shouldn’t need a special day to show the special people in your life that you love them.

    hope you guys have a great day together!

  24. AuburnKat
    February 14, 2008 4:02 pm

    That was really sweet!

  25. alyndabear
    February 14, 2008 4:48 pm

    What a gorgeous history you guys have!

    Happy day, love! *hugs*

  26. Jane
    February 14, 2008 8:26 pm

    We gave up on nice dinner’s out about 4 years ago. We went to a fancy restaurant. Chad got reservations about a month in advance. When we got to the restaurant, our table was about 8″ from other tables on both sides. I remember the table to my left, was two girls who kept talking about how they didn’t care they didn’t have a boyfriend on Valentine’s day and were going to get so drunk at ladies night at the bar up the street right after dinner.

    We got Chili’s to go tonight. And Maria fussed at us the whole time while we were eating in front of the TV, because it was her bedtime!

  27. Alexa
    February 14, 2008 8:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing your love with your readers and friends.

    You are a very special couple…

  28. Renee
    February 17, 2008 3:27 pm

    awwwwwww love… you two are wonderful

  29. Laurel
    February 19, 2008 2:04 pm

    That was adorable. I hope I’m as lucky in love as you are!