Happy Valentine’s Day to those who celebrate it! 🎈🎊🎉❤🎂❤🎉🎊🎈
To those who don’t, I hope you’ll still celebrate it as a day of all kinds of love – self-love, familial love, friendship love, etc – not just romantic love! Whether or not you’re single or partnered, male or female, it doesn’t matter because love knows no bounds. ❤
And a Random (and Pretty Long) Real Life Story
Today happens to be my husband and my third wedding anniversary! Yes, we actually registered our marriage on this date in 2015, because having our anniversaries on popular dates makes it easy to remember and this was the only “holiday” at that time of the year when the registration office was open. 😆
What you may be interested in is; how did we meet?
(Long wall of text alert! Do read this when you have time to spare. 😛)
Way back in 2006, it was both my husband and my first ever class at university – the first class on the first week of the first semester of the first year! – when we first encountered each other. At first I was the lone girl sitting on the first row on the right side (because everyone love to sit at the back), and he sat together on the first row on the left side with a bunch of guys whom he became friends with. We didn’t really interact then – since as Asians we aren’t really so forward with strangers – though my husband told me later that he took notice of me then.
The next week, in the same class, for some reason I decided to sit on the first row on the left side instead (away from the lecturer’s table). He came in with the bunch of guys, saw me, and sat next to me with the rest of the guys on the other side. (Come to think of it, doesn’t that mean I kind of stole his seat? 😆)
We didn’t really interact much still, until one day he forgot his reference sheet and asked to share mine. Ever since then we slowly opened up to each other, and by the end of the 3 or so months, we became friends, together with the bunch of guys he was already friends with. 😀
After that we never had any overlapping subjects again (we both had different IT-related majors), but we remained friends and said hi whenever we passed each other in the halls (it was a really small campus). Little did I know that he had an interest in me, and his friends took upon themselves as undercover agents and reported back to him whenever they saw me passing by in the halls! And I was just merrily going about my life as usual. 😆
Despite being oblivious, I did realise I enjoy his company. When I was first nominated for a C-language programming competition representing the university and had to find a partner, the first person I thought of was him. He agreed to join the competition with me and we spent a lot of time together after that practicing programming in preparation. When it was all over, I felt a little sad that we wouldn’t be together so often. (Yeah, how oblivious could I get?)
Eventually I did think maybe he was interested in me, though it was my mum who first brought it up. Because the campus was so close to my house (a 15-minutes’ drive away), my mum usually ferried me there and back for classes, and she took notice of him when she picked me up after class. He’d wave from afar as I got into the car, and my mum commented on it, saying something similar to, “I think he’s interested in you. It’s nice how he waved from afar, instead of being intrusive and coming by to say hi. Looks like a nice guy.”
It didn’t really come to a surprise to me (but then again, I’m not an easily surprised person), and just thought it’d be interesting if he was interested in me. But because popular media usually depict the whole FIREWORKS INSTANT SPARK BUTTERFLIES LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT thing when it comes to romance, which I didn’t have because it turns out I’m a slow lover, I didn’t know I was interested in him too. 😅
Eventually, in 2007, a year after we first met and became friends, a public holiday came up and I thought it’d be nice to hang out with him, so I asked him out for a simple lunch and recommended a nice chicken rice place. I honestly thought it’d just be a simple lunch, like the whole low key hanging out we often did, except I somehow ended up being more dressed up than usual. (I didn’t wear make up as always, but I wore a skirt. A skirt! When I prefer pants and shorts! And going to something simple like chicken rice! And me, being me, wondered why and then thought, oh well, let’s just go with it. 😆)
When he arrived in his car and I sat in the passenger seat, he said hi and then reached to the back seat and pulled out a bouquet of pink roses – the reason why I didn’t notice was because he had it covered in something black, to camouflage it with the floor! Remember how I said I’m not easily surprised? Well, I was surprised then!
I asked why the flowers, he asked to read the card. The small, cute card (like one you’d find on a present) had my name on the front and the message inside read, “Would you be my girlfriend?”
My heart soared then (and I’m sure I had a big grin on my face), and I said yes!
(I found out way later that he actually rehearsed this part with his friends, the same ones who became “undercover agents”, which was why it was so well planned. 😆)
So rather than the simple lunch we were planning (I mean, chicken rice, of all things?), we decided to splurge a bit more and have a fancier (but not too fancy, given our student budgets) western lunch of steak. I couldn’t help but to grin throughout lunch, which he commented upon, and after that I brought him home to meet my parents. By then, my family already had multiple conversations discussing him and how he was interested in my, so it didn’t come up as a surprise to them. 😆
And, well, you know the current ending of the story! We graduated university together in 2009, grew up together as we navigated the world of working adults, and got married in 2015 (at which everyone was like, “About time!”). While we’ve certainly had our ups and downs, as any other relationships would, I’d say our bond with each other is deep and long-lasting. We’ve been together for so long, it feels strange not to have him at my side! (He’s been working late nights for a while, so that he could take a few days off for Chinese New Year during this busy period at his office, poor guy.)
While our “how we met” story isn’t as epic or dramatic as romance books / movies tend to depict, I still wouldn’t have traded it for anything. Because this is our story, and our story doesn’t have to be the same as others’. ❤
I hope you enjoyed my story! Hope you liked it and do let me know what you think. 😀
A Short Self-Compassionate Letter
A really lovely love story. ❤