Thursday, February 14, 2013

heart times

Twenty-five years ago today, Magnum and I had our first date.

Yes, it was Valentine's Day.  No, that wasn't on purpose.  We were both over-worked college students.  Plus, I had a part-time retail job, and he was in the National Guard.  It just so happened that Valentine's Day, after my shift in retail land, was one of the few shared openings in our calendars.

To be honest, I don't remember a whole lot about that date.  We met at a bar and grill that was just a few doors down from the sporting goods store where I worked.  Up until then, I'd mainly just known him from chatting in the couple of classes we had together.  These were the ancient days before social media.

At the time, I was also kind of "seeing" a co-worker from the store, but nothing serious.  Just sometimes a group from work would do some after work socializing, and the two of us ended up as a sort-of-but-not-really couple.  Mark wasn't a college student like most of my co-workers.  He was a rather burley outdoorsy guy.  He worked in the hunting department at the store and did some taxidermy work on the side.  Seemed like a wholesome kind of guy.

As Magnum's interest didn't wane after that first date, I found myself wondering if I should choose one path or the other.  Right about that time, I was talking to another co-worker.  I don't even remember what the conversation was about, but he said, "Yeah, Mark's on a first-name basis with half the girls at Shotgun Willies".

Oh... really?  Shotgun Willies is a titty bar in Denver, commonly referred to by some friends and I as "Silicone Willies"

Now lemme just say that I don't have a problem with titty bars, or titty bar patrons.  That whole "first-name basis" thing, though?  Well, it tipped the scales in Magnum's favor.  He had a hard enough time just talking to me, let alone...

And now LOOK!  Here we are, twenty-four Valentine's Days later.

The elementary school is having Valentine parties today, with my little pedestrian customers each carrying bags of little cards for each classmate.

The history of St. Valentine, I understand, is a bit murky.   The day itself also has origins in the pagan fertility festival "Lupercalia" where:

"many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to pregnancy"

Uhm, I'm pretty sure the school is just sticking with the little cards and probably some sweets.



  1. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!

    Happy 24 Valentine's Days together!!

    I just LOVE stories like this.

    1. Thanks! The strippers helped make it possible!

  2. I HOPE that's what the schools are planning to stick to.
    Congratulations on 24 Valentine's Days! Do you celebrate at all? My hubby's not even here. I got him a card and some pistachio's. I think he'll like it...

    1. I get a box of chocolates for the whole family, but other than that, nothing too mushy. Can't go wrong with card and pistachio love!

  3. Ditto what Meleah said. To have Valentine's Day be your special day really means a whole lot more than just another Hallmark moment. Congratulations on making it stick for 24 years! A testimonial for true love. I wonder if Shotgun Willies has lasted that long...

  4. Clearly Magnum was the right choice. I think 24 years proves it! And you have to wonder if Mark could have given up his silicone habit in favor of a monogamous relationship. Seems doubtful!

  5. Two (love)birds, one stone: Valentine's Day and Anniversary

    On, and one thing can't be overlooked: Magnum chose wisely ;-)

  6. Yeah, sounds like you picked the right guy, there!

  7. I've never heard 'wholesome' and 'taxidermy on the side' in the same sentence. Well, not in my sphere of friends, anyway. The kind of sporting goods store I worked at sold tents and backpacks and high-end hiking boots, not to mention Royal Robbins clothing. No hunting gear. My dad used to call it the 'yuppie surplus store'.
    Twenty five obviously picked the right guy! Happy first date-aversary!