Tuesday, February 14, 2012

my first un-single valentines: on the road to child-bridehood

Brynn turned 5 yesterday, and I will write about that later, after I have emptied my buckets of tears and rinsed them out for their next use. Also I want to post party pictures and what-not, and the party is this weekend. So.

I will go topical today, and tell the story of my first Boyfriend Valentines Day. I imagine that Valentines is probably supposed to have an apostrophe, but I have been alone with my kids for 10 or 11 days and I don't care about your stinking apostrophe. The MOG comes home today, hallelujah. I put on makeup and Toby keeps asking concernedly, "Now, why are you pretty again?" like he's heard the rumors in my head that I am going to chuck it all and take my minivan to somewhere exotic, like Iowa.

But my first Boyfriend Valentines. I was 16, and I had snagged the MOG and decided that I would marry him. We'd been together since November, so it was a pretty solid lock. He wasn't a great boyfriend. I mean, he was a sweet talker, and he genuinely like/loved me, and stuff. But opening doors, buying gifts, stuff like that, not so much. That did not limit me from having my expectations at the realistic 16 year old level of SKY HIGH. All day long, my girl friends were getting flowers at school, teddy bears, chocolates and such from their college-age drug dealer boyfriends.

As was our custom, the MOG and I met between most classes and passed each other letters, usually apologizing for the multiple fights and makeout sessions the day before and declaring our undying love and burning passion. But no special V-Day missive came my way. I think I made him a card, with giant bubble letters and red hearts and such and then folded it in an origami shape. We had a lot more time before the internet. The whole day passed and nothing. He might have said HVD, you know, but no diamonds, fireworks spelling out my name, etc.

Later that night, we rode silently and sullenly along with my dad as he ran errands. I was sulking for extremely obvious reasons, and he was mad because I was mad, and what was he supposed to do about it, because he was broke after buying a massive collection of Hosanna worship cassettes and a shirt with GOD SIDE in gangsta letters. It was stressful. We rode along while Daddy did various things, and finally he ran into Hastings with Richy, but I did not go in because a) I was boycotting Hastings and b) I hated Richy Clark's guts.

After a while they came back out and Richy climbed in the backseat while my dad awkwardly thrust a Hastings bag at me, containing a pink heart balloon and a candy bar. "From Richy," he said. Now, everybody in the car knew the man was lying. But I rose to the challenge and squealed like the obnoxious teenager I was, and we never acknowledged the truth about that whole exchange for YEARS.

The thing is, we both grew from my dad's awkward kindness. I learned about humbling myself and loving the man I loved, and his imperfections and his efforts. He learned that you HAVE to give a present. It ended up being a very sweet first Boyfriend Valentines.


  1. That is so cute.

    I don't remember my first boyfriend Valentine's. Nor to I remember my first V-Day with my hubby. I know it was in 1999. The rest is a blur.

  2. oh, and *heart* your dad...awesome.


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