It was a hot, steamy day in the Arizona desert, the kind of day where heat rises from the baked clay earth in waves….
Or it was February 1996, and for the first time in my life, I was using hot curlers in my hair. A friend warned me. “He’s going to get used to seeing you like this, and you’ll never be able to wear straight hair again.” Not a problem. My hair couldn’t lay straight if it got run over by a steam roller.
Anyway, back to my story.
It was Valentine’s Day, 1996, in Glendale, Arizona. A friend from high school — someone I hadn’t seen in almost four years — invited me out to dinner. And, fool that I was, I said yes. Who says yes to a first date on Valentine’s Day? Only crazy people and me, the person who can barely remember what day of the week it is…on a good week and clearly didn’t realize that the date I’d agreed to was a Valentine’s date.
What’s worse? Once I realized it was Valentine’s Day, I was still naïve enough not to realize it was a big deal until a friend — the same one who warned me about curly hair — made sure I understood the magnitude of the situation. “People get marriage proposals on Valentine’s Day, you know.” Yowzers. I never should have said yes.
So there I was with my too-curly hair, trying to remember that we were old friends with nothing to be scared about despite what my older and wiser friend had said. That friend wasn’t helping as much as I’d hoped, either. As I put on my makeup — not an entirely common occurrence for me — my friend had an opinion about that, too. “You’ll have to wear makeup every time he sees you from now on.”
Time came for my date to show up. Only, he didn’t. For a long time. He was late, seriously late. When he did finally put in an appearance, he was wearing a baseball cap that said Lady Killer on it. I’d never been a fan of baseball caps, and Valentine’s Day 1996 didn’t change that one bit.
On the bright side, I was never going to expect him to be early for anything, and I knew from day one that he was not a fashion guru.
Twenty years later that man still wears baseball caps — though not that one — and is still late to everything all the time unless I’m with him and acting as chief navigator. I, of course, gave up on curling my hair by the end of our first year of marriage. Makeup more or less fell by the wayside when our first
child was born.
Turns out my friend was right about setting up false expectations. My wearer-of-baseball-caps still occasionally looks at me and says, “I like it when you curl your hair…” Which I do, oh, once every three or four years now. Thank goodness he fell in love with a lot more than just my face and hair.
On time or late, baseball cap or not, though, I still see happily-ever-after when I look into his eyes.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Heather loves coffee, God, her family, and laughter – not necessarily in that order! She writes approachable characters who, through the highs and lows of life, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her. And, yeah, her books almost always have someone who’s a coffee addict. Some things just can’t be helped. You can find Heather online at: www.HeatherGrayWriting.com