This is my 20th Valentine's with my husband. It's not something we ever really celebrate. Neither of us is overly romantic to begin with, but I worked at Hallmark in high school and college. That will suck the Valentine spirit right out of you.
Honestly, I can't tell you anything special about our previous February 14ths. You can read about how we met here, and how he won my heart with a hammer here, and the classic story of him asking my dad if he could marry me here. But I don't have any great Valentine's stories.
So let me tell you about our first real date—or rather, the prelude to our first real date.
In case you didn't hit the link above about how we met, the short version is that we met at church, had lunch that afternoon and ice cream that night. Now you're caught up.
When we parted ways after ice cream, Scott said, "I'll give you a call this week and maybe we can get together next weekend."
Then, a magical thing happened...He called! Just like he said he would. For twenty-two year old me, who had a track record of attracting less than fabulous men, this was nothing short of a miracle.
As my mom used to say, "If there is a jerk* within 50 miles, Dawn will find him and want to date him, especially if he's unemployed."
*Mom didn't say, "jerk". She had a much more colorful vocabulary than that, but we'll keep it PG.
Not only was Scott employed (like with a real grownup type job). He was oh-so-cute and HE CALLED RIGHT WHEN HE SAID HE WOULD! *swoon*
I was beyond smitten.
We made a date for Sunday of the next weekend. I had to make a trip back to Oklahoma Friday and Saturday so I wasn't available which didn't matter because he had dates with other girls! (I just have to bring that up from time to time. He swears that's the only time in his life he's had more than one date in a weekend.)
Sunday rolled around. I made sure I was back in Dallas in plenty of time. So much time that I was ready way earlier than I needed to be. If I'm nervous or excited. I have to move. I couldn't just sit on my couch and wait. I was bouncing around my one-bedroom apartment like one of those super balls you used to be able to buy in front of the grocery store.
I ran out of things to keep me busy and decided to empty the dishwasher. You know, because if he came in after the date he was absolutely going to be checking out my appliances.
The first glass I took out of the dishwasher (one of probably four that I own that wasn't a to-go cup from a restaurant) shattered in my hand! Evidently my anticipation gave me hulk strength or the cup just decided it couldn't go on, I don't know. But it disintegrated into sharp, jagged pieces, slicing my little finger pretty good.
You know what you don't necessarily think about owning when you move into your first apartment alone? Band-aids.
I managed not to get blood on me, but it was on the glass, the counter, the sink, and I had nothing (other than wrapping my hand in a sock or making gauze out of paper towels and scotch tape) to stop it.
The reason is a long story, but my mom's best friend from high school (a woman I called my "aunt") lived two buildings over. I wrapped my finger in a paper towel and sprinted to her apartment. I was young then, I could run without the motivation of imminent death chasing me. If this happened today, I wouldn't have made it down the stairs at that speed before I collapsed and bled out from my injured finger.
Luckily, she was home. With the bleeding stopped and my finger repaired, I sprinted back to my apartment. I had to get in the apartment, clean up the mess, and look casually relaxed by the time my date showed up.
After I got the glass cleaned up, I thought some music would be a nice touch.
I bent down to pick up the remote (to the stereo, not the TV) and a cockroach* the size of a freaking Volkswagen came out from behind the speaker and started chasing me around the room!
*For those of you not from Texas, please understand that we do not have little, scurry-when-you-turn-the-lights-on, cockroaches. We have Palmetto bugs (or some people call them Tree Roaches.) They are FREAKING HUGE. They can swim and they can FLY!
In his defense, he might have been trying to escape the crazy, shrieking human intent on murdering him with a boot, but I'm sure he was coming for me.
Still screaming, I managed to get him halfway out the sliding glass door to my three-foot wide balcony. He refused to go any further. I refused to have a roommate. So I closed the door...with force..four or five times.
That would be when Scott knocked on the door. I was still shaking, but I tossed the shoe in the corner, fluffed my hair, and opened the door with a smile.
"Is everything alright?" he asked after I greeted him. "I thought I heard someone screaming."
"What? No. Everything is fine!"
No blood in my kitchen.
We should just go.
Happy Valentine's day!