When I was taking a Feature’s Writing course in college, my professor gave an assignment for Valentine’s Day that I will never forget. Each of us was to find a member of the opposite sex to interview about what his or her plan was for the holiday. I didn’t know too many guys at that time, at least not in a way that I felt comfortable talking about romance. There was this really nice and funny guy who was friends with my roommates, so I approached him. He was up for the challenge and we set a time to meet for the interview.
I went to his dorm with my notebook – I probably had already been there once or twice for parties but I knew little about him, just that he’s a guys-guy into hunting and motorcycles. But this time, for the sake of my reporting, I took note of his bedroom, his style and his apparent interests that I didn’t pay attention to previously. He had a Jessica Simpson poster hanging over his bed, so I asked him about that to get us started. He loved Jessica Simpson and admitted to watching “The Newlyweds”, but he had no current girlfriend otherwise. Bingo. That was a perfect way to lead the story, which was the critical part, according to my professor.
He continued to give me such good material to write this assignment. Though he might have been sad about it, the fact that his only plans for Valentine’s Day were to get his LTC (license to carry) simply made for the most unassuming article about a guy on the most romantic day of the year. I was pleased with the interview and resulting story – it was the best I’d written for a classroom assignment. I was more pleased with the A+ it received. My professor even read my piece aloud as a “great example” to the class, a feeling that still makes me proud to this day.
But perhaps the most perfect part of this story is that this guy, Chris, is now my boyfriend of nearly six years. Though I didn’t know it then, Chris had a major crush on me, and that interview helped him realize what he liked about me (my personality, my work ethic, my interest in his life). It was the first time we had ever been alone as every other time we were with friends. By the following Valentine’s Day, Chris and I were growing closer and, well, the rest is history as far as that goes.
I think being friends first was an important piece in my relationship with Chris. It wasn’t love at first sight for me – I was so in my own world in college and focused on finding who I was, doing well in classes and thinking about my future career. I love thinking back and remembering that there I was, doing my assignment, and love was just beginning to bud right before me. On Valentine’s Day. How perfect is that?
Lesson: Just be yourself, girls. If he’s the guy for you, he’ll love who you are and what you do.