It was 2001. I was dating this guy. A really sweet guy. We'll call him "Tiger".
Tiger decided that for Valentine's Day he was going to take me out to dinner. So we got in the car and headed to a nearby town where we dropped off my son at his aunt's house for a few hours so that the two of us could be alone and we went to eat dinner at Chili's.
I think that I ordered the Monterey Chicken (because that is what I always order!) that night. We were sitting at a booth in the front of the restaurant and it was a cold February night so I asked him if I could borrow his jacket. Being a gentlemen (and a scholar since we were in college at the time) he allowed me to wear his jacket after a bunch of fiddling around trying to get it over to me. The dinner was nice. The conversation was nice. The boy was perfect.
After we finished up with our yummy food, we went back to his car to take a drive before I had to pick up Bubba. He drove us up a road that gave us a wonderful view of the nighttime city lights. I kept expecting him to stop so that we could just look and be silent for a little while. But he kept driving.
Finally, as we descended back into town towards the sitter, he pulled the car into the parking lot of a homemade ice skating rink that was almost never used. He said, "Come on". I was a little nervous about going out on the ice and I am sure I made up some excuses as to why not to get out of the car (I always do!) but he insisted that he wanted to give me a gift and he wanted me out of the car to do so.
We walked to the middle of the ice and he stood in front of me and told me to close my eyes. Although I didn't see him bring anything from the car, I expected him to place a teddy bear (since they were my favorite) or a bouquet in my waiting hands.
When I opened my eyes, he had one khaki knee on the snow covered ice with a black velvet box resting in his hand. It only took me a milisecond to realize that I was being proposed to. It was the best Valentine's Day gift that I could ever have possibly recieved.----------------------------------------
The reason that night changed my life is because I said "Yes" and started immediately planning our September wedding. We were 20 years old with a shared 4 month old son and everything about it was perfect.
He told me later that he was extremely nervous that night. The ring was in his jacket pocket at the restaurant and he had to do some super quick shuffling to let me use his jacket. He also then had to quickly put it back from his pants pocket to his jacket while we were exiting the restaurant without my noticing. By the time we stopped at Wilson Park, he was quite nervous about how it was all going to turn out.
The funny thing is...I never saw it coming. I wanted to be married to him and I made no bones about letting him know but on that Valentine's Day, I never expected a thing.
Valentine's Day has always been my favorite holiday. The pink and red. The hearts. The chocolates and love messages. It's all my thing. I love romance and small gestures that show I am loved. "Tiger" knew that and although no Valentine's day could ever be topped by that one in the memorable moments category, he hasn't let me done since.
I just want to take a moment on this day to
say "Happy Anniversary, Baby". I may not remember the date of our first
kiss, I may not remember when exactly we met, but I do remember the day you
honored me with the opportunity to be your wife. It's been a ride but the
most wonderful one I have ever been on. Thanks for being my "Tiger"
through thick and thin, through happiness and sorrow, and for better and for
worse. I love you more now than the day you proposed and my love for you
will continue to grow. --Always, Forever and Beyond...Your Princess.