Matt and I met in January of 2003. When I say “met”, though, that’s what I mean—we met. First, unofficially—we arrived the same week at the Army’s language school in California, and so we were in the same meeting giving us the in-processing information for our unit. Then, we met officially. I went with a mutual friend to a bar in Monterey at 10AM on a Sunday in January to watch the NFC and AFC championship games, and Matt met us there. We spent the day watching football and chatting. At the time, we were both dating other people.
We didn’t start dating each other until June of that year. By the end of July, we were engaged.
In fact, Matt proposed to me the week he met my parents, after asking their permission. I hadn’t even met his parents yet when I said yes.
We planned a big wedding for May of 2004, but the Army had other plans and at Thanksgiving, I got orders to deploy in January. So we had to cancel all the wedding plans, and the first weekend in December, Matt and I drove to Lake Tahoe, NV and eloped.
I wouldn’t say that my early twenties were necessarily known for being my best decision-making years. But that one decision—the biggest one of all—well, I know I made the right one. I know it every day.
Valentine’s Day isn’t my favorite holiday, by a long shot. We never do anything crazy or grand, and I’m happier that way.
But it does make me smile when I think of how quickly I knew I was in love with Matt, and how glad I’ve been to spend every day since with him. This weekend we celebrate Love, and I’ll be very happy to spend it with mine.