On Tuesday, Clay and I will celebrate our 12th Valentine’s Day together. We’ve been together 2006, and reflecting on past Valentine’s Days always makes us feel old at 31.
Our relationship- and now marriage- is a simple one. I’m not a high-maintenance girl and am happiest chilling out with those I love. You literally can’t buy me love, as I don’t care for expensive purses, clothes, or meals out.
Now, it’s time for some Friday Flashbacks, Valentine’s Edition!
2006: Our First Valentine’s Day
In 2006, I was living in a villa apartment with Tiffany G., Tiffany W., and Pascha. All of us (and Clay) were students at Francis Marion University and Clay was a frequent guest in our apartment. He had my friends’ seal of approval and that was important.
For Valentine’s Day, Clay bought me roses and cooked me a meal at his apartment (he was living off campus by then). This was the first time anyone had ever bought me flowers, and he cooked stuffed shells with marinara sauce. I was thankful since I normally survived off free food at college events I was covering from the student newspaper.
Looks are temporary, but a girl has to eat forever. I knew he was a keeper.
2007: FMU Homecoming Dance
Our university’s homecoming always lands around Valentine’s Day and they usually hosted a dance, so Clay and I went to the dance. The homecoming celebrations always feature “Patriot Sweethearts” which are couples who met at FMU and later got married. I don’t think we realized then that we’d someday be Patriot Sweethearts, but we haven’t returned for Homecoming.
2009: Working Girl Valentine’s
By 2009, I was working at my current job (technical writer) but in the office, and Clay was working as a chemist. We were living in Florence and both of us were living with roommates. Clay cooked a meal, and I don’t remember what I ate but apparently he had steak and he bought me flowers.
Eight years later, I still own (and wear) that sweater. It looks semi-professional and still fits…
2010: Snowy Valentine’s Day
In 2010, Clay and I were still living separately, but I spent a lot of time at his apartment. He was back in college at FMU getting his second degree (computer science). We woke up to SNOW on Valentine’s Day. We were living in Florence, and while it snows more there than it does in Charleston, the snow was still kind of a big deal and shut the town down.
We built a dwarf snowman and decorated his car!
2013: A Waffle House Love Story
2013 was our first Valentine’s Day in Charleston. Since this is a city (and a foodie city at that), restaurants here are packed for the holiday. At the time, we lived 5 miles from Waffle House, so we decided to make a reservation and go there. The staff members decorate the restaurant, light candles on the tables, play romantic music on the jukebox, and have special dinners for the night.
Since we save so much money by celebrating at Waffle House, we always tip the staff very well because they deal with a lot (drunks in the middle of the night, poor tippers, and well… working at Waffle House). We now live even closer to that Waffle House, so we go every Valentine’s Day as our tradition.
We love the nicer restaurants in Charleston and frequent those too- just not on Valentine’s Day. It’s the one day out of the year when Clay and I eat at Waffle House.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day, or “Singles Awareness Day”, or “GAL-entine’s Day”. No matter what you’re celebrating, the holiday is about love and being with someone you love, whether that’s a significant other, family member, or friend. Those who you love are worth celebrating, and it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive to be fun and meaningful to you.