I went to bed with a funny little cough last night. By 10:00 this morning, I felt pretty lousy. Cough, headache, body aches, the works. I took some meds and laid down for a bit, my mind defying my body to be sick. Finally somewhere around 2:00 this afternoon I called Mack to ask if we could celebrate Valentine's Day another day. As I dialed the phone, I remembered a Valentine's Day years ago. I hadn't thought about it in a long time, but as it is my only antecdotal Valentine's story, I think I'll share.
This guy, who I'm going to name Beattles because that's what I remember listening to when we would hang out, and I had been stuck in a cycle of teenage drama for most of our high school career. He liked me, I didn't like him, but finally decided maybe I did after awhile. Then we were on-again, off-again, he was hurt, I was confused, our peers had too much input into our "relationship," the whole nine yards. Anyway, so we had "gotten back together" again at some point in January. Valentine's Day happened to fall on a Wednesday that year, and we made plans to skip youth group at church (gasp) and go to dinner and a movie with his next door neighbor and my best friend, who were also dating. Much like today, I woke up that morning feeling pretty awful. I willed myself to go to school, because I knew there was no way that my parents would let me go out on a school night if I hadn't gone to school that day. So I went. And felt worse and worse as the day went on. I promptly fell asleep when I got home, and was awakened by Beattles calling to confirm our plans. I told him the bad news that I was sick and didn't think I could go. I could tell he was disappointed, and I asked him what he thought he would do that night. "Probably just go to church," he answered.
I wanted to ask him to stop by and see me on his way home, but I knew enough about guys, even at 16, that I didn't. I knew that would be perceived as needy, maybe even nagging, and would completely rob him of the opportunity to make the "romantic gesture" on his own initiative. So I said nothing, but waited for him to stop by. And the window in which he could have done so came and went. Later, he finally called. I asked him what he done. He had gone to dinner and a movie with the friends we had made plans with, and another girl friend of mine. Yes, that is correct. He went out on a date with another girl on Valentine's Day. I asked if they met up over by his house, almost a half hour away. No, he had come and picked up my friend, who lived about a mile from my house, and could have easily stopped by to see me. Now I was really rubbed the wrong way, but determined to play it cool and not be the jealous type, I said nothing. I asked if they had fun and we hung up the phone. He called the next day and broke up with me. And I knew it was for good. Our little cycle of teenage drama was broken once and for all. I literally looked at the phone in disbelief and laughed after he hung up.
And there it is: the only Valentine's Day on which I ever had a sort-of valentine besides Mack. And I'm so grateful. Grateful that we didn't go out on that date, that he didn't stop by in some romantic gesture, that I never got a card or chocolates or flowers on February 14th from anyone but Mack. That Mack was mine by the time that day came around again the next year, and for the 14 years since. And for as long as the Lord wills.