Friday, February 12, 2010

Flashback Friday -- Our first Valentine's Day

Warning to Dave: You might not like this story. You know it's true, but I also know you don't like to be reminded of this particular day in our lives. I'm so thankful that you stayed persistent until I said yes. Thank you for not letting me make this mistake.


The first Valentine's Day that Dave and I knew each other was in 2003. We had known each other for a couple of months. We'd met only twice, since he was stationed at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, and I was living here in Minnesota. But in those last couple of months, we'd gotten to know each other really well. We talked every day on the phone -- often late into the night. I was getting the vibe that he liked me. I liked him too. A lot. Valentine's Day was just a couple of weeks before he deployed to Iraq. His unit was really busy getting ready for their first deployment, so we hadn't been talking quite as much -- still a couple of times a day though. haha. If I remember correctly, his deployment could have happened at any time, so he wasn't allowed to be more than an hour away from Ft Campbell. I knew he wouldn't be surprising me with a visit.

I was actually a little nervous about the vibe I was getting from Dave leading up to Valentine's Day. I liked him too, but I didn't think we'd be able to do anything about those feelings. He was in Kentucky. I was in Minnesota. My personal opinion at the time was that I didn't think long distance relationships made any sense. What was the point of being with someone if you couldn't be physical with that person? I have no idea why I had that opinion -- it really wasn't like I ever really had any options to date people that lived close to me. I really wasn't an expert on relationships, since I never really had any, but for some reason I was anti-long distance. And I told that to Dave a time or two.

But still, Dave's vibe was getting me nervous. Along came Valentine's Day. I went about my typical day. In the afternoon, I got a call from a flower shop. They had tried to deliver some flowers but I wasn't home.

I had a pretty good idea who they were from. I wanted my flowers, so I drove to the shop to get them.

I had an idea who they were from. But I waited until I got home to open them up.

They were the most beautiful red roses I had ever seen in my life. Absolutely gorgeous.

And there it was. The Card. I was giddy, excited, nervous, anxious and scared as I opened the card.

"Would you be my girlfriend? Love, Dave"

Oh, crap, I thought. This is not good. I really didn't want anything to change between Dave and I. I liked that he liked me. I liked liking him. I like flirting with him on the phone. I was too scared to take things to the next step. I knew I wouldn't see him for a year, so I didn't want to lock myself down into a relationship. I was only 20 years old, I wasn't ready for the level of seriousness that our relationship would ultimately have because he would be deployed. But I didn't want to lose him. I wanted to kiss him before I agreed to be his girlfriend. I had never had a Valentine before. I wanted a Valentine, but why did it have to be under these complicated circumstances.

So what did I do?

I avoided Dave. I continued going about my day. I went to the grocery store to get a couple of roses to bring to my other single lady friends with whom I was celebrating the holiday. I got back into my car and my cell phone rang.

It was Dave.

I didn't answer.

He left me a voice mail.

I listened to the voice mail. He was singing, "Would you be my girlfriend" -- the *nsync song that I loved.

Crap. He's still asking me.

Valentine's Day. A day about love. An offer of love, complete with a love song and roses, was being given to me. I was scared and terrified. I felt like cupid had shot his arrow. His arrow hit me -- wounded me -- and I was bleeding. Dying. This was not how I dreamed of falling in love.

I knew I needed to call him. I couldn't ignore him forever. But first, I called a friend. Or two. I was freaking out and needed to make sure I was doing the right thing.

I called him back.

I said, "I'm sorry. I can't."

I explained all of my excuses. I don't remembering him saying too much, but I know he said we would still be friends.

I told that I needed to wait until he came back from Iraq. I said that if we're meant to be together, it will work out. I pleaded. He agreed to my conditions. I felt like he was okay with what I thought I wanted. 

Before he got off the phone, he asked me if I liked the bear.

I hadn't gotten any bear. They messed up my order. So the bear was delivered the next day. There was a card attached to the bear.

"Would you be my girlfriend? Love, Dave"

This was the third time he asked. I still couldn't do it. I teased Dave that he needed to stop asking. I'm sure it hurt his heart more than it hurt mine. But I stayed stubborn. Two weeks later he left for Iraq and we said good-bye.

I'm still sorry for 02-14-03.

But our story obviously didn't end there. It pretty much continues from this post, so keep reading to find out what happened. (It gets happier -- I promise).

Read my previous Flashback Friday posts: Dave's homecoming | Otis' homecoming | The beginning of us


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