{Almost} The Most Perfect Valentine's Day Ever

When I was a freshman in college, I decided that it was time for Mark and me to get engaged. After all, we’d already planned to get married after my sophomore year, so we needed to get the ball rolling. Wedding planning takes time, you know?

So I told Mark about this. Don’t be alarmed. He started asking me to marry him when I was just 16, so this was only good news for him.

Shortly after that conversation, we flipped the calendar to February. Which, as you know if you’ve ever been in any sort of relationship, means Expectations and Plans and all that “good” stuff.

Chocolate may even get involved.

I assumed, because my experience with romance novels and chick flicks told me it would happen this way, that Mark would propose on Valentine’s Day. And so, I planned accordingly.

A few weeks before the big weekend, I made lasagna at home. It was no Pioneer Woman dish at that point, but it was (and still is) Mark’s favorite thing I make. I froze two servings and took them back to school.

I like planning events, and this Valentine’s Day was to be quite the event. I had a white sheet to use as a tablecloth, and I draped it over a coffee table from the dorm lounge. I [illegally] lit candles and had a bag salad ready to dump into a bowl. My friend Nicole picked up breadsticks from Fazoli’s, and I had an elaborate plan to get Mark out of my room while I threw it all together.

Except . . . my plan didn’t work out quite right. I asked Mark to return a couple movies I’d rented, but when he got to his car, he realized he needed directions. So he came back up to my room and knocked on the door.

Because I thought it was Nicole, delivering the breadsticks, I opened the door without a thought. And Mark saw me with scissors in my hands and rose petals scattered behind me.

He thought I was mad at him and destroying the flowers he’d brought me!

I was actually cutting open the bag of shredded cheese for the salad, and the rose petals were to decorate our makeshift table. From a rose I’d bought myself.

We laughed when he came back and told me what he’d thought, but I was so sad that he’d been worried. (And I was worried that he thought I was such a crazy woman that I’d cut up his beautiful flowers!)

Then to top it all off, the poor guy did not, in fact, propose. He gave me a Martina McBride CD with the song Valentine on it. The song that I’d sung at our spring concert the year before. The song that I’d really been singing to him from that stage in our high school gym.

I’m ashamed to tell you that my first reaction was not, “Awwwww! That’s so sweet!”

No, I behaved sort of like the kind of crazy woman who might cut up a bouquet of roses. I wasn’t angry or too ugly about it. But I wasn’t gracious and kind, that’s for darned sure.

We still had a great weekend together, and I am still proud of the way I pulled together that little romantic dorm dinner. (And I still love that song, by the way.)

But we would have had a much better start if I’d been giving up on perfect holidays back then!

I don’t think we’re doing anything at all for Valentine’s Day this weekend. We’ll probably rent a movie and order a $10 pizza. And I’m tossing around the idea of starting potty training. So, it’s going to be exciting.

Do you like Valentine’s Day? How will you celebrate – or boycott – the holiday this weekend?

{Photo by ~Brenda Starr~}

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