Thursday, February 14, 2008

In absence of any of my men...

So I promised an update awhile back, and it goes like this. The Frenchman remains in France, until next month when he will visit for a brief weekend (the first time I'll have seen him in 5 months). While absence has indeed made the heart grow fonder in many ways, it has also given way to a desire to be open to more local opportunities for companionship - and the one that has stuck, for now, is a lovely guy I met at a coffee shop in Monterey the weekend of my cousin's wedding. We've spent a number of weekends together doing everything I've hoped to do since returning to the Bay Area - exploring San Francisco, checking out local restaurants, going out with friends and generally having a grand old time. I have done what I can to not feel like a two-timing floosie, which primarily means I have told the Frenchman about my local beau, and vice-versa. This is incredibly unchartered territory for me - and while I'm not 100% comfortable with it, I also can't seem to totally reconcile myself to cutting myself off from either one, given the circumstances.

So, that said, as neither are completely local and I'll be having a wine, chocolate and Atonement-watching girl's night in honor of the happiest of hearts day - I thought I'd reminisce on some of the romance of valentine's past. I'd love to hear some of your best Valentine's memories (or perhaps they're currently in the making) too!

'95: The awkward
First high school boyfriend: This relationship was strange from the start - I've touched on how his lack of virginity at the tender age of 14 intimidated the hell out of me in a past post. While I'd had boyfriends in middle school, I was in unchartered high school territory, and I'm not sure I was truly aware of how to be myself in a relationship when I didn't feel we brought the same cards to the table. On Valentine's day, he brought me a silver teddybear necklace to school. I remember thinking, "Wow, he really likes me" and also, "wow, I'm so not a teddy bear type" all at once.

'97: The first to mean something
I still haven't finished telling the story of my first love - but Valentine's day '97 pretty much sums it up. He showed up at my house with homemade m&m chocolate chip cookies he'd made (his first name starts with an 'm' too). I gave him the soundtrack to the movie Kids - horribly unromantic now that I think of it, but great music. That night, we went to see Beck in concert with a group of my girlfriends from high school - he was happy to share me with my friends, but somehow it felt like the day was all about us.

(slight Valentine's detour to describe one of the more romantic days I've ever experienced)
'00: He just "got" me
For some reason, Valentine's 2000 escapes me - though in the scheme of my college relationship, it didn't bear as much significance because my boyfriend was fantastic at romance all around. When I returned from a choir tour in Italy in January that year, he'd cleaned my entire dorm room (as a busy R.A. and general slob, it had gotten overwhelming) and left me flowers hiding in various corners - in my mini-fridge, in the shower etc. A few months later, I awoke in the same room on my birthday to a home-cooked meal (I don't actually remember how he pulled off scrambled eggs in a dorm room - I think he drove all the way home and back to do it) and then was whisked away to a local park where he'd assembled my motley crew of friends for a morning surprise party, comlete with balloons and cake. Later that day we went to the newly opened Ghetty museum for the day, and he presented me with the nicest set of the Chronicles of Narnia available at the time. The sweetest part about the whole day - aside from how much he did to absolutely shower me with love from the get go - was that he couldn't actually afford the book set on his own, so he'd had his two best friends go in on it with him. I still think it's just the most telling sign that his best friends would help him buy something he knew his girlfriend would adore, because it meant that much to him to make the day perfect.

'03: A calm in the storm
My longest relationship ever started at the end of my college years and lasted almost three more. For any number of reasons, it got off to a rocky start, and yet to this day I can't wrap my head or heart around the tenderness that survived it all. Our second Valentine's we played it pretty low key and generic - he chose a restaurant, we ordered wine, had nice conversation - I wore a new red shirt. There was something about it though that stands out in my memory for the simplicity of the love we shared and how it came out that night. Ours was never the most romantic of stories (though our first date was salsa-dancing in Costa Rica). Still, after all this time when something really touches me deeply, especially in regards to family or music, it's him that I think of and want to share it with.


O.k. - your turn...

5 Comments:

Blogger Peter said...

Ohhhhhh great.

TWO guys to be jealous of now. :P

2/14/2008 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Valentine's '08
He surprised me at my place by preparing the most romantic evening with no detail forgotten.
Arriving home,opening the door there were roses petals strewn everywhere I looked. The room was lit entirely by candles.
In the dancing flickers he stood in his regimental kilt holding a bouquet of long stem red roses.
We had an incredible Valentine's complete with a 5-course homemade meal, hours of conversation or simply staring in awe of one another.
Feels good to be in love.

2/15/2008 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Lia said...

There are many happy moments for me and Finnie. One Valentine's Day moment involves a giant heart-shaped cookie with chocolate chips spelling my name (he was probably 17 at the time). I gave him NHL 2K (a video game) that year. Another involves him copying a beautiful e.e. cummings poem onto the back of envelopes with our activity for the moment inside. Here is that poem: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15401
It still warms me to read it.
And last night, we got romantic Indian truck food. :) And tried to get cupcakes from this delicious place, and they spoiled everything by having run out of said delicious cupcakes! They had the audacity to deny a 9-month-pregnant woman of the best cupcakes! So we had dinner at our little table in the nook, and it was casual, and we celebrated the fact that we have such a good relationship and enjoy each other's company (mostly) daily and don't get worked up about creating a perfect day. In fact, the chaos of our day made us laugh and appreciate each other more.

Here's to happy relationships, their moments, and ALL the people we love in our lives.

2/15/2008 2:31 PM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

Peter gets the happy hearts prize for making me grin big on V-day :)

Anon - Any man who will wear a kilt for you gets an A+ in my book! So happy for you :)

Lia - Your memory triggered my lost valentine's memory of 2000 - I'm pretty sure it included a pizza with sausage spelling "I love you" on it being delivered to my R.A. office because I had to work that night!

I'm so happy for you and Finnie - and I love your willingness to recognize the significance in every day harmony and loving of life together. And whoever denied you a cupcake should be shot. Just kidding. Sort of.

2/15/2008 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello!

I am contacting you because I am working with the authors of a book about blogs, and I'd like to request permission to use a photograph of yours in this book. Please contact me at hannah@wefeelfine.org, and I'd be happy to give you more information about the project. Please paste a link to your blog in the subject field. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

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11/14/2008 12:13 PM  

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