My Valentine

Monday, February 14, 2011

I've been married to the same guy for over 30 years. I know that's out of fashion these days, but I can't help it. He's just too romantic to give up.

Although I could cite plenty of recent instances (like the 30th anniversary party he planned without my knowledge), I'm going to reminisce about our early days, before we put on the wedding rings. I'm not sure these are in the right order, but here are some of the things Roland did to capture my heart.

A week of flowers. Roland sent me a single rose at work on Monday. Another flower on Tuesday. And Wednesday. And Thursday. (By the third or fourth day I was expecting it.) A bouquet on Friday. I thought the flower-a-day idea was cool, and so did the people at work.
The want ads. Either The Chicago Sun Times or The Chicago Tribune had a special Valentine's Day section in the want ads for people to post Valentine messages. Roland called me and told me to look at them, and there it was. All these years later, I don't remember exactly what it said, but I think it was something like, "Kathryn Page, I love you. Be my Valentine. Roland." I didn't love him yet, so I wasn't sure how I felt about the ad.
A dozen roses, perfectly timed. Because of Roland's work schedule, we were going out every other week. On one of his work Saturdays, I was home wondering if I should break it off. While I enjoyed Roland's company, I still hadn't fallen in love with him, and that's what I was looking for. When the doorbell rang and a florist delivered a dozen roses, I decided to give the relationship a little longer to develop. So here's a note to you guys: flowers can make a difference.
More unexpected flowers. I was in law school at the time, and I went to Washington, D.C. (by myself) over Spring Break. When I arrived at my hotel, there were flowers in my room from--guess who?
A special airplane ride.  Roland had a private pilot's license, so he rented a plane but didn't tell me where we were going. I could see Lake Michigan below us, but it took a while before I realized we were headed for Holland, Michigan, to see my parents. They met us at the airport and took us to their house for dinner. Then Roland and I flew back. (Daddy took the picture while we were there. It suffered water damage in a flood 2 1/2 years ago, but you can still see the distinctly 1970s influence.)
Separate hotels. I planned a vacation to New Orleans with a friend, and we reserved a room with two double beds. When something came up and she couldn't go, Roland volunteered to step in. The hotel I had booked was filled up by then, so Roland stayed several blocks away. Some of my friends thought it strange that we went on vacation together and stayed in different hotels when there was an empty bed in my room, but I was glad Roland and I shared the same morals.
A traditional proposal. When Roland told me to dress up for our date, I guessed what was coming. He took me to dinner at an elegant continental restaurant high above Chicago's Magnificent Mile. The restaurant had strolling violinists, and Roland waited for them to come by our table. They never did, so he gave up and put the ring in my hand. I had fallen in love by then, so there was only one thing I could say.
That's the kind of guy I married.

And I guess I'll keep him.


Caroline said...

Ah, lovely. He's definitely a keeper. Super romantic post. :)


Eleanor Joyce said...

Love it! What a beautiful post!

Linda Glaz said...

Awwww, keep him for 30 more.

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