A lot can change in one year’s time. Those who have experienced losses and new beginnings probably understand this the best. From Valentine’s Day 2014 to Valentine’s Day 2015, a lot has changed. I witnessed one of my best friends from high school get married to the love of his life (shout out to Craig – to see if he really reads these posts…), I have met the very prayed for sweet baby of another high school best friend (shout out to Katie – because we all know you read these…) and have experienced one of my greatest losses with the death of my grandma – someone who I never got the chance to tell about my 30 dates. She would have gotten such a kick out of it and would have probably loved reading these blog posts more than all my friends combined.
From 2/14/2014 to 2/14/2015, I have said goodbye to a school year loving my job with all my heart and said hello to another, where many days have ended with tears or the strong desire to stab my eyes out (this blog is about honesty, right?). I have finished another year of GRAD school (one more to go) and watched my parents finally settle in the south and renovate their new home.
Oh yeah, and…wait for it…
…I have finally met a man who has captured my interest enough to go on ten dates with….
But you already knew that.
A lot can happen in one year’s time.
Last year I spent Valentine’s Day with my parents (I think the year before that too… and quite possibly the year before that…). We had a snow day from school that day and I spent the day shopping with my mom. After shopping we picked up a box of pizza and started home to meet my dad. I remember feeling content and I even told my mom that I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else that night. Many singles dread the made-up holiday we call Valentine’s Day, because it reminds them of what they don’t have. But I was never like that and I happen to like the “holiday”. Plus I didn’t need February 14th to make me feel lonely, I felt that on most weekends.
So as I sat there eating pizza and watching a movie with my parents, I felt content. I honestly wasn’t even sure how it felt to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a man anyway. My dad had always taken it upon himself to be my Valentine and he has certainly sent his share of flowers to my work over the years. That always made me feel special, even the year of the 1-800-flowers faux pas. Just a small disclaimer to never use that company, I mean never ever. My eyes are beginning to twitch right now just thinking back on that incident. I almost
dislike hate them as much as Time Warner Cable.
So this particular Valentine’s Day (2014), my dad stayed clear of 1-800-flowers, actually flowers altogether and both my parents gave me some gifts that evening. It kinda felt like my birthday as I sat in my sitting room, opening up presents from a giant gift bag. I opened up a candle, lipstick and chocolate and then got to the two best gifts at the end. One was a poem written by my mom and the other was a small figurine picked out by my dad.
The poem was titled, “While You Wait” and typed on a picture printout my parents had taken of me months prior. And the figurine was a representation of the man of God my dad had been praying for me.
What sweet and thoughtful gifts. I felt very loved that day. And have cherished both gifts ever since.
Here is the poem my mom wrote for me:
We know you sometimes get tired of hearing that we pray,
For that man of God to come, but he seems to be delayed.
We know that there are reasons why God has held him back,
Most likely he’s in training so that nothing will he lack.
‘Cause he’s a special man whose been chosen from the start,
He will need lots of wisdom in order to do his part.
That is why we often prayed, it seems like very day,
That he would be the man of God, who’ll always know what to say.
One day people will ask him, and question him about,
How did he get to be your husband, and did he ever doubt.
We can now imagine seeing him, standing there so firm,
Confident and strong, as his words will be confirmed.
“No”, he will answer boldly as he looks back on his life.
God had promised him early on, that one day you’d be his wife.
So our darling daughter when things are moving slow,
Use this time to prepare yourself and allow yourself to grow.
We know that you’re a smart lady, and see things as they are,
We know that you’ve been patient, and trusted God so far.
But until that man of God does come, keep looking up and say,
Thank you Heavenly Father, for this gift I’ll have one day.
My mom explained that while she was writing that poem, she knew it was inspired by God because it came so easily to her. So not only did I feel so very loved by my parents that day, but also by my Heavenly Father. He was reminding me that He had it all figured out already.
So Valentine’s Day 2014 was pretty great.
And Valentine’s Day 2015 was too. It happened to be my 10th date with Mr. Knows Just What To Say and I had spent the last two weeks counting down the days.
So, I have to ask before I go any further…Did anyone else notice these lines in the poem?!
That is why we often prayed, it seems like very day,
That he would be the man of God, who’ll always know what to say.
A few months ago I was reading this poem and nearly fell over when I saw that line. I was in a bit of a shock, so much so, that I took the poem off the top of my dresser and laid it hidden in my top drawer. I didn’t even mention it to my mom because I was a little bit freaked out by it. Was this just an ironic coincidence or a divine plan?
Part of the reason I hid it was because when Mr. KJWTS came over for our 4th date, I didn’t want him reading it. I figured it would be nice and safe tucked under a few shirts in my dresser. Deep inside, I told myself that if I ever ended up engaged to Mr. KJWTS, I would pull the poem out and share it with everyone. What a story that would be! But if we ended up not lasting, I wouldn’t mention my findings to anyone.
And now I am sharing it with my whole world in a blog post…interesting how things change.
It is not because I know Mr. KJWTS is the one that my mom talks about in the poem. It is not because I know that Mr. KJWTS is the man that my dad has been praying for. I don’t know any of that yet. I do know that my feelings are getting stronger each time I am with him, but I couldn’t possibly know whether or not I am going to marry this guy. I know some people say that they knew right away… and… good for those people…but that’s not me. While my freak out meter has been hiding lately, it is most definitely still there.
I basically just started dating for goodness sakes, I am not ready to figure out who will be my husband. So, again, I don’t know. And I don’t have to know. Because my God does. And I am perfectly fine taking it date by date right now. Mr. KJWTS and I have not even talked about “our relationship status.” We don’t have a title and I have no idea how he would introduce me to his friends. None of that matters right now. I think we are just waiting to see how this 30 dates adventure ends before we begin to talk about those kinds of things.
What I do know is that I loved spending Valentine’s Day with him, our 10th date.
A few days prior, I reminded him that this was our 10th date and asked him if he ever counted dates this high up before. He said, “No, I don’t think most people count past their 3rd.” I laughed and wondered when I would actually stop counting. Maybe after the 30 dates? But then again, maybe not.
I drove to his house for this date and as soon as I walked in he had a vase of dozen roses, some chocolate and a card sitting out for me.
He even signed the card, “Mr. KJWTS.”
A part of me was surprised because I really wasn’t expecting anything from him on Valentine’s Day. He has told me that he doesn’t really like the idea of giving or getting gifts out of obligation and so I was wondering if he was one of those people who boycotted Valentine’s Day. In theory, I get those people and I understand why they hate the day so much. However, I have come to see the good in it. It gives married couples with kids a reason to get a babysitter and actually go out on a real date. Should they do that on other days besides February 14th? Sure. But life gets busy. Valentine’s Day reminds couples to take some time for themselves every once and awhile. Plus, if you boycott the made-up holiday of Valentine’s Day, do you also boycott Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? Those days bring families together that might not always make time for one another. Should they make time for one another besides the one day in May and one day in June. Sure. But life gets busy. Yes, I know these are made-up holidays, but to me, if you can find a middle ground somewhere, why not let yourself enjoy it?
So I can’t say that I wasn’t happy to be getting flowers from Mr. KJWTS. His card was pretty cute too.
“Thank you for letting me take this journey with you. It is an honor to spend this Valentine’s Day with you. I’m enjoying getting to know you and learn from you. Your heart and character are beautiful things to witness and I love seeing the softer side of you that you don’t let most people see. Thank you for choosing to be with me today.”
The “softer side” he is referring to is probably when I cried in front of him on our last date. So I smiled when I read that. At least he took that as a good thing and it didn’t leave him wanting to run.
We had decided to stay at his place and cook dinner that evening to avoid the crowds and the long waits at restaurants. We have gone out to eat several times already, so why not stay in and let the married couples with children at home with a babysitter, enjoy the long lines of waiting to eat in a restaurant 🙂 We decided on a meal and I went to the grocery store while he went to Lowe’s to get something to fix his television that he had been working on all week.
I prepared the meal, while he was busying himself in the attic with TV antennas and I loved every minute of it. It was fun to cook for a guy.
After we ate, our plan was to go see a movie. We had been wanting to see The Imitation Game for awhile now, but it never seemed to work out. So we had planned our dinner schedule around the movie time. We drove 20 minutes to the movie, lucked out on finding a close parking spot and waited in line for our tickets, only to see that it was sold out. We were smart about the restaurant situation, but didn’t even think of having to get to the movie way ahead of time for tickets. Oh well. We turned back around and went to Kohl’s instead.
He had to buy some socks and on the way out, I noticed a cute pink hoodie on sale for 50% off. So he bought that for me too. I felt like a real “couple” at that point. Making dinner and shopping for socks, will do that to ya every time.
We decided to just go back to his place and watch some movies. I had brought The Notebook for us to watch because he had told me on our 3rd date or so that he has never seen that. So I decided we were going to watch that, I am not sure I gave him a choice. I’m sure he liked it. Who wouldn’t? I told him we had to watch a romantic chick flick on Valentine’s Day anyway. That’s probably why the theater experience didn’t work out for us.
The day was perfect. Valentine’s Day 2015 was perfect.
Thinking back to last year and that poem again, a lot can change in a year’s time.
So why did I end up sharing that poem in a post anyway? Especially after my strong intent on hiding it after the discovery of that one line?
Because I couldn’t talk about Valentine’s Day without comparing it to last year’s and I couldn’t talk about last year’s, without sharing that sweet poem. Just remember that I am not going to marry this man because of a poem. There is a chance that we might not last past our 15th date. Or we might. We might date for a whole year. Or we might not. My life is not a movie, like The Notebook, so I cannot guarantee a happy ending with Mr. KJWTS. There is a chance we could really hurt each other or maybe things will just end peacefully because we realize we aren’t right for each other. I might even disappoint all the readers that have gone on this journey with me and are rooting for us to work out. I do know that when you date, you are taking chances. And I was at the point in my life that I wanted to take those chances. So that is what I am doing.
But if I look through the optimistic glasses for once, there is also a chance that this adventure could really work for us. Maybe we will get a happily ever after.
And if that happened, I would be the first to submit a movie manuscript to the Hallmark channel. After all, they were the ones that made up Valentine’s Day, right?
6 dates and counting down. Until next weekend.