My Funny Valentine

Patrick and WSU President Dr. David Hopkins

Patrick with WSU President David Hopkins (Photo by Seth Bauguess, Wright State University)

You know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. ~ Dr. Seuss

See that guy over there?

No, not the kind gentleman in the suit and tie.

The other guy.

My guy.

Yep, that’s *my* guy.

That is my husband, Patrick. I first introduced you to him, officially anyway, on his birthday last August.

Sometimes…. okay, a lot of times…. my work involves after-hours kinds of things — receptions, public events, and the like. This month, those events include the fabulous things going on for the Paul Laurence Dunbar celebration I wrote about yesterday. Thankfully, my good sport of a husband is usually right there with me, keeping me company, running back for things I forgot to bring, troubleshooting technical glitches, and all the other wonderful things he so patiently endures because of the things I get him into doing. His ever-present kindness and good-natured humor are two of the reasons I married him!

Of course, I knew on our second date that this was the man I was going to marry. (Actually, I knew it on our first, but I was trying to be coy about it….) Our second date was rather much like an adventure. He nearly fell on his keester, and I almost set the hotel room on fire. Um, yeah, an adventure.


We were living two states apart at the time. I had lost my mother the past July. (Now I joke that when she went to heaven, she headed straight for the match-making department, because I met him just a few months later.) We had our first date in mid-December. Valentine’s Day weekend was our second.

We were attending a party thrown by a friend, out-of-town — actually out of both of our towns. The midwestern winter was in full force. The roads were icy, and it was windy enough to make driving a battle of wills against its force. When he went to get out of the car, his foot slid on a patch of black ice, and it was sheer force of will and a strong car door that kept him from hitting the pavement. By the time we finally got settled, neither of us was in much hurry to go back out into the elements again. Big 10 college basketball was on, gearing up for March Madness, and it happened to be Purdue playing, which is where I was going to school at the time. We decided to stay inside instead of going out to the party, order a pizza, and cozy up in front of the television, content to spend time together. I went to rearrange the space to make more room and, while moving the couch, didn’t realize that the electrical plug for the lamp was in the floor under it. (Who knew that’s where they’d put it??) I sheared that thing off at the base of the plug, sparks shooting, and we both expected the place to burst into flames.

But it didn’t. And you know what? It became one of my most favorite Valentine’s evenings we’ve spent together. We went out for brunch the next day and spent about four hours trying to figure out how this relationship was going to work: Who could move the easiest? Which one of us would be more likely to find a job in the other’s town? How quickly could we make this happen? We made it work faster than we expected or even hoped.

Patrick with WSU President David Hopkins (Photo by Seth Bauguess, Wright State University)

His sense of humor is another of the many reasons I love him. He has an innate ability to be able to make people laugh, in the very best sense of the word. Not at themselves, or him, but at life and all its situations. Take, for example, last Tuesday night, at yet another event he went to because of me. The president of our university pulled up a chair for a visit, and he, like others before him, laughed at something in the conversation.

Even after more than 14 years of marriage, that second date on Valentine’s stands the test of time on romance. For as I’ve learned, hearts and flowers, cards and candy, aren’t the heart of my romance. It’s the being there for the other one when your feet fly out from under you and not running from difficult times or when there are fires that need to be put out. It’s the day-to-day lunches, the time spent together, that makes my romance so special.

It’s my guy that makes Valentine’s Day out of every day.

I’d love to hear your stories — what’s your most memorable Valentine’s Day?


Filed under Life

2 responses to “My Funny Valentine

  1. Weirdly, our most memorable days were never on Valentines day. The stand out day for me was when, after dating off and on for ten years, he told me he had to “…talk to me about something important.”

    “Uh-oh,” I thought, when he sat me down in the kitchen, “this is it… It’s over.”

    Then he took my hands in his, leaned in and said:
    “I don’t want you to get away from me again. Will you marry me?”

    So of course my reply was, “I’ll have to think about it.”
    You should have seen the look on his face. It took me a week of thinking about it before I said “Yes!” But I have never regretted that choice and we have been married for over 30 years now. Yeah, that’s the one that stands out, in spite of my shenanigans. 😉 ~ L
    (PS: In my defense, I had been married before and in view of that nightmare experience, well, I truly never expected to marry again.)

  2. Awww! I love it! I bet he was a bit shocked! But I’m guessing your shenanigans are part of the reason he loves you (or at least I keep telling myself that’s one reason mine puts up with me…..LOL)

    Thanks for sharing your story!

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