A few days ago, my best friend mentioned that her parents met on a blind date on Valentine’s Day. There were married for forty years until death separated them.
I remember thinking what a sweet love story then immediately it occurred to me how easily we forget that our parents were once young.
I thought I had filed the story away. But as I started outlining the post I originally wanted to write, a new idea popped into my head. Why not interview my friends and relatives about how they met?
I made a list of eight couples and texted each to get their stories. Four of them agreed.
I asked each how they met, how long they’ve been together, how they knew they had found the one, their secret to keeping their love going and how they planned to spend Valentine’s Day. Here are their stories:
When Anna Met Errol
Anna and Errol met in school. Her best friend took classes with Errol and asked him to introduce her to his friend. Errol told her that he wanted to meet her friend.
Anna and Errol started dating casually, sometimes they’d double date with her friend and his. When another of Errol’s friends told him he wanted to date Anna, Errol called Anna right away and they became exclusive.
The two couples married within a week of each other. Almost forty years and two children later, Anna and Errol still hold hands together.
Asked how they plan to spend Valentine’s Day, Anna said they didn’t need a special day to remind them of their love.
A Rasta Luv
Jenniffer: I was twenty-two when Lexie and I met. I was living in the same apartment complex as a friend of his and he
would say hello whenever we saw each other.
We were finally introduced at a neighbor’s birthday party and shared a dance. Later, my neighbor invited me to attend a concert with him and his girlfriend. I told him the only way I’d go is if he found me a date, a cute guy, not one of his ugly friends.
Lexie was the date my neighbor found. He was the youngest of his friends, and he looked young even though we are only two years apart.
We didn’t date, really, as I got pregnant shortly after. Lexie is the most attentive man I’ve met. I guess that’s when I really fell in love with him. We were both working low-paying jobs, plus he was going to school but he’d give me all his money so I could take a taxi to work.
And if I took the bus to work, he’d accompany me and make sure I got there okay. He took over the cooking, he even cleaned my shoes in the mornings. He made sure I was taken care of. The boy I met thirty-three years ago turned out to be more of a man than I expected and he still makes me feel like his queen.
How do we keep our love going? Lexie, you should answer this one.
Lexie: You’ve got to love the one you’re with.
Jenniffer: And being honest with each other. I always tell him when he does something I don’t like. I’ve never tried to change him and he’s never tried to change me.
Lexie: Openness and honesty about our feelings. Valentine’s Day? We don’t set aside a day to show each other how we feel.
Jenniffer: Lexie gets up at 5:00am everyday, makes my coffee and puts it on my bedside table. Then he kisses me goodbye and leaves for work. On weekends, if I’m tired he makes our coffee which we have in bed, sometimes makes me breakfast too as after 31 years, I no longer make weekend breakfast.
Lexie: We’re each others’ Valentines.
A Facebook Match Made in Heaven
On September 24, 2010, I received a friend request from a guy on Facebook. He had the same family name as mine – I thought he might have been a relative so I checked. He wasn’t and I accepted his request.
We had a very good conversation online but I was a bit nervous that this wouldn’t be the case when we would actually meet in person.
It was absolutely extraordinary that our conversation continued seamlessly when we met for dinner a week later. Coincidentally, as well as having the same last name, his previous wife and I share the same first name. His sister and my sister share the same name as well.
We met around 7 pm and didn’t leave the restaurant until 11:30 pm. It was easy just being ourselves. We both have a strong love for reggae music and he wanted to hear the music on my iPod. This started a music sound clash with our iPods.. he would play a song and I would say I can do better than that. We went back and forth until I won. It was a blast!
I drove to work that day and turns out he was also heading back to Brooklyn to see his uncle. I offered to drop him off all the while thinking I must be insane driving this man in my car. When we got to his uncle’s house, we stayed in my car just talking and continued playing music.
I thought to myself, and he did as well, that this must be fate. Gosh, I looked at my watch and realized it was 3:30 a.m. Yes, 3:30 a.m. Work the next morning. Remember those days?
Four years later, we still remember that sound clash and still clash over music. And he’s always making me laugh. I think I fell in love with him when I saw the care he showed his uncle, who’s like a father to him, and the warmth of their relationship.
How do we keep the sparks alive? (Laughs) We argue! No, we don’t need Valentine’s Day to appreciate each other.
A Wrong Number Leads to Love
Bev: I dialed my uncle’s number and a voice I didn’t recognize answered the phone. Excuse me, I said, I think I have the wrong number.
Delroy: And I said, well you called so you can’t hang up now, you have to talk to me.
Bev: We talked for over an hour. And he started calling.
Delroy: I knew from her voice on that first call that she was the one. But two hours drive separated us so I decided to pay her a visit. I would have recognized her in a crowd.
Bev: He asked me to marry him soon after we met. I said no.
Delroy: And I kept asking.
Bev: When he asked for the millionth time on Valentine’s Day, I threw out the first date that came to mind (10/10/10). He smiled from ear to ear and kept smiling like a Cheshire cat.
Delroy (laughing): She didn’t know that the date she said was actually my birthday.
Bev: We couldn’t get that date but we were married a few days later. We’ll be together four years this year.
Delroy: And no, we don’t need a day to recognize how lucky we are to have found each other.
How did you meet your Valentine?