The Most Memorable Valentine’s Day I Ever Had Was…
in 1990 in Chicago, IL. This was very easy to remember because I spent four hours in my car on Lake Shore Drive, trying to go north. How far north? Well, I lived in Hyde Park in an apartment near The University of Chicago where I was in business school studying for my M.B.A. (Yes, that was waaay before I wanted to become a writer). I was traveling north from there to Division Street in downtown Chicago, where my then-boyfriend lived. What should have been a 20-minute drive took four very long hours.
Only stupid people would attempt driving that night when it was a blazing snowstorm. Except I had a trusty Honda Accord! My car was great in snow! I was a great driver! And, it was Valentine’s Day! How could I NOT be with my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day? We had 8pm dinner reservations at some fancy schmancy restaurant that I was not going to miss.
I gave myself extra time and left at 6:30pm. The roads near my apartment were terrible, but I figured once I got on to Lake Shore Drive, it would be smooth sailing to Division Street. As you can guess by now, I was wrong.
Even though it was 1990, I actually had a cell phone. It was my first: a Motorola and it was HUGE. But, it worked.
I called my boyfriend to tell him of my slow progress, but that I hoped to be there soon.
The driving was so harrowing, so tense, so dangerous, that I didn’t call him again.
When I finally arrived at his apartment, it was 10:30pm.
He opened the door and my first words were: “I don’t care what time it is, we are going out to dinner somewhere! And, I’m drinking heavily!”
We ended up walking somewhere nearby and we told the waitress about my ridiculously long drive. And then she brought me my very large vodka and cranberry on the rocks.
We toasted to our 3rd Valentine’s day together, not realizing we would be spending every Valentine’s Day together for the rest of our lives.
Even though, we’ve had 22 more Valentine’s Days together since then, that one is still my favorite because I know I’ll never be that stupid again. Now I know why there is a song called “Dumb Love.”
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