Thursday, February 14, 2013

No. 40 Valentine’s Day

We must have been idiots.

Feb. 14, 1973: We had known each other a little over a month. I gave her flowers. She gave me an album (back them it was a real album) – the soundtrack to Godspell, which had been on Broadway only a couple of years before. The flowers were red and white carnations, with one blue iris right in the middle. The blue iris was my fraternity’s flower.

How do I remember the flowers? She took a boatload of picture of them. We still have an old, faded photograph.

It was cold. Not long before, we had actually had snow, a massive half inch that had paralyzed Baton Rouge.

We had known each other a month, and we were what they called head over heels. Eight months after that, we would be married.

We had to be idiots.

When she took me home to Shreveport to meet her family, their first reaction was shock, and then relief. They were expecting a long-haired barefoot hippie. After all, I was from New Orleans, and everyone in Shreveport (my relatives included) knew exactly what New Orleans was about.

Instead, in walked Joe Frat. I was likely wearing my standard school uniform – white dress shirt, blue jeans, wing-tip dress shoes.

When I brought her home to meet my parents, she shocked my mother. She brought a hostess gift. I had brought girls home before, but none of them had brought a hostess gift.

My father knew this was the one.

I graduated in May. The day after graduation, I drove her to the Baton Rouge Greyhound bus station for the ride to Shreveport. I can remember us sitting on the curb across the street from the station.

Part of me was making the drive to Beaumont, Texas, to start my new job the next day with the Enterprise newspaper.

Part of me was getting ready to board a bus for Shreveport. We were going to be mostly apart for three months.

I learned the drive from Beaumont to Shreveport. I think I could still find the way. My first apartment was part of a large complex of apartment buildings. I called them the posh Northway-Gaylynn Luxury Apartments. They were neither posh nor luxury. But there were clean, if old. And furnished, since I couldn't afford to buy any furniture. The first piece of furniture I would buy was a Lane sweetheart chest, spending $98 plus tax. I was making $125 a week.

We still have the sweetheart chest.

We must have been idiots.

But I would do it all over again.

Over at Faith Barista, Bonnie Gray is hosting a blog link-up on “love.” To see other posts, please visit Faith Barista.

Photograph: The two idiots sometime after 1973, like 35 years after 1973 – at their oldest’s son wedding in 2008.


Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Idiots? No! Just madly in love! And, what a marvelous photo of the two of you! Wishing you both a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Jerry said...

You idiots make a very nice pair.

Maureen said...

40 years! Amazing.

You obviously knew something about making the right choice.

Happy V Day to you both.

SimplyDarlene said...

have you given your bride a similar bouquet since?


H. Gillham said...

Aw. I love it when you tell stories about yourself.


On Valentines' in 1973, I received my first roses from a boyfriend ---so it was a memorable year for me.

I didn't marry him though. LOL

The boyfriend I had before that was anti-establishment and considered himself a radical for not buying into main stream ideas.

Oh, I didn't marry him either.

Thanks for this sweet glimpse of you.

diana said...

Yeah, we were the same kind of idiots - and I wouldn't change it, either. Hope you have a lovely day. Because we leave this afternoon to drive 130 miles south in order to move my mom up near where we live over the next two days, we took advantage of the CPK Valentine's $30.00 special and went out to lunch. It was lovely. And I'm so glad he is still my valentine - 47 years after marrying him and 51 years after meeting him.

S. Etole said...

Blessings to you both.

David Rupert said...

Love to hear your story. I applaud your example -- through thick and thin.

HisFireFly said...

and again and again and again...

that IS love

Lisa notes... said...

If that's idiotic, may we all be so dumb. :-) Thanks for sharing your story.

jasonS said...

I guess people in love can certainly appear to be idiots. I have fallen in that category. Thanks for making me smile. Always love celebrating these milestones with people. 40 years of Valentine's is nothing to sneeze at. :)

nance said...

two of the most wonderful idiots!