Finding true love

My grandparents on their wedding day.

Love. It makes the world go round; it’s all we need; it stinks. No matter how you feel about romance, there’s absolutely no avoiding having your nose rubbed in it on Valentine’s Day. I confess, any notions about Valentine’s Day being anything but a tremendous disappointment built on contrivances and forced sentimentality have long been wrung out of my system. Hell, where the date falls on the calendar alone turns reasonable people into desperate, depressed axe murderers. I have instituted (much to El Greco’s relief) a blanket-ban on Valentine’s Day festivities. This February 14th, we will be dining at home and trying to figure out how to track down and corral all our 401ks. (Aside: My husband is my best friend. I’m sorry if that elicits nausea, but he really is. We just both really hate Valentine’s Day.)

Anyway, despite my distaste for this particular holiday, I have been exceedingly lax in posting anything of merit lately, so I thought I’d take advantage of the easy subject and share some stories about love, in hopes that they will not cause anyone to fly into a wintry rage.

1. A short story about how my grandparents met
My grandparents were set up by a mutual friend. The way my grandmother describes it is approximately as follows:

They went on a date and ended up on a Ferris wheel. My grandpa rocked the seat until my grandma screamed at him. She says she found him obnoxious. He proposed to her that night. She said no. “And I have seen him every day since then,” she says, delivering the punch line.

2. A longer story about my wedding

I am not a pretty crier.

When I put on my wedding dress, I totally lost my shit. I imagine there was speculation among my bridal party, and/or my mom, about why I started choke-sobbing in a most unladylike manner the second my dress got zipped up. So here’s the scoop. This is going to be embarrassing.

I fell in love with El Greco the moment I saw him.

I know that’s cliche, but this is a Valentine’s Day post, so you’re welcome. I was a freshman in college, neither of us was available, and we cultivated a friendship built on undeniable chemistry and much left unsaid. As it grew more obvious to both of us that our continued friendship might compromise what had been an obvious path to marrying other people for both of us, we stopped speaking. Two years later, we had a chance meeting at the grocery store soon after we had both veered off those paths. The rest, as they say, is history.

So when, a few years later, I found myself in a white dress on a white-hot Charleston afternoon, I was overwhelmed with relief that things had, against pretty high odds, turned out exactly how I had hoped they would. The one that got away had become the one I married.

I still don’t know how I got so lucky, and if you’re barfing your face off right now, Happy Valentine’s Day.

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