Saturday, February 12, 2011

How'd You Meet Your Valentine?

HI, my name is Elaine Cantrell, and I'll be joining you today as we all celebrate Valentine's Day. For those of you who don't know me, I'm a social studies teacher, I'm married, and I have two sons and three grandchildren. I also have a new puppy who's somewhat of a challenge. Writing wise, I write contemporary romance which is on the sweeter side.

Every year I like to tell the story of how I met my Valentine, so here goes. True story.

Call it fate. Call it destiny. I don’t care what term you use. All I know is that from the first moment I saw him I knew that our futures were linked.

It happened the summer after I graduated from high school. My mother had gotten me a job in the place where she worked, and after finishing my shift I was eager to get home. I had a date that night and wanted to shower and change before I went out. Okay, maybe have a date is a little bit of an understatement. We’d been going out for almost a year, and he’d been throwing out hints that he’d like our relationship to be a little more permanent. I told him I had college ahead of me, but he said he was willing to wait.

My friend Pam and I were waiting together for the final buzzer to sound when this guy who had reported for work on the second shift called to her. He wasn’t especially tall, maybe five ten or so with dark, wavy hair and beautiful sun kissed skin. He was wearing a tee shirt so I couldn’t help noticing those nice shoulders of his.

Pam introduced us. It turned out that he was her boyfriend’s brother. This was a surprise because for some reason I had gotten the impression that her boyfriend was an only child. Guess the joke was on me because there were four children in the family.

Anyway, for the rest of the summer we’d talk a little bit right before I left for the day. We never said anything really important, and he never asked me out, but each and every time we spoke the feeling of destiny grew stronger.

Both of us went away to Clemson University that fall. We saw each other a couple of times during the school year. Each and every time we did his eyes sparkled like blue sapphires. My friend Pam told me she’d given him my number, but he never called. Still, I couldn’t forget him.

Time passed. Near the end of my freshman year I broke up with my boyfriend. Things hadn’t been going well for some time, so it was a relief to end the relationship. I made sure he knew it. It took him a month or so to work up the courage to call me. We went on a picnic, and after that we were inseparable. He was everything I’d been looking for and more besides. We complemented each other in so many ways!

We had two years together at Clemson before he graduated. I missed him so much that I took extra courses and finished school a semester early so we could get married. Two sons and four grandchildren later we’re still together and looking forward to retirement. Of course this is the real world so he drives me crazy from time to time. He’s a man, isn’t he, but I wouldn’t trade him for anything.

As I was writing this blog I asked him why it took him so long to call me. He said it was because I intimidated him. After much coaxing he finally explained. He said he was shy, and he knew that I’d dated more than he had so he was scared to ask me out. Isn’t that sweet?

I like to tell our story near or on Valentine’s Day, mostly to show that there are happy endings in the real world just as there are in my novels. Honestly, I doubt that my characters could overcome the obstacles they do if in my heart I wasn’t a hopeless romantic who got her happy ending.

Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment telling me how you met your Valentine.


Elie said...

I am Valentine-less this year, unless you count my two sweeties. Your story was sweet though. Do you ever find your students reading your books?


Elaine Cantrell said...

Yes, I do. That's one reason why I write sensual romance and not erotica. I gotta face those teenagers every day! Some of them have bought books from me to give as gifts to their mothers at Christmas, and it warmed my heart.

I think we can count your two sweeties who I assume are either kids or pets. Sometimes they make the best Valentines of all.

Virginia said...

I met my valentine through work and we have been married for 26 years now. We no longer work together because that job closed but he is still my Valentine.


Elaine Cantrell said...

Virginia, if you've been married 26 years he must be a keeper. Happy Valentine's Day.

mysticmother said...

In my story, it took some time to get together too. My husband Jimmy was in the Navy and a friend of the family across the street where my best friend lived. I was only a teenager at the time and though I could tell he liked me, 9 yrs made him too old in my eyes. We met again when I dated his room mate. I was going through a bad boy phase and Jimmy was just too nice for me. Not my type at all. We hung out a bit. I even did a Tarot reading for him that suggested we'd end up together and my response was no way. Third time was a charm. About three years later we met up again and he still loved me. He'd refuse overtime on the off chance I might come over and we weren't even dating. We were just friends, but his devotion blew me away. No matter what I did, he was always there for me. Always waiting--like he knew his time would come. We did end up married and are coming up on our fifteenth anniversary. Sometimes friends make the best loves.

Elaine Cantrell said...

I love your story, and I agree. Friends do make the best loves. Congratulations for finding that special guy.