Ten months after Laurie and I started dating we had our first Valentine’s Day together. We were both freshman at the University of Washington and commuted together to the campus. During a break between classes she presented me with a card to celebrate the occasion.
Like a typical clueless college boy, I had neglected to get her anything. I gave a short speech about how, “Everyday with you is Valentine’s Day so I didn’t get anything.” I’m sure other lame excuses about not wanting to limit romantic observations to a single day of the year were mumbled.
The look on her face said clearly that I had just delivered the dumbest speech of my short career. To date, it still ranks as the low bar. Fortunately I overcame that mistake and she’s put up with me for nearly thirty years of marriage.
But one principle that we do try to live up to is that everyday should be a day for romance—not just Valentine’s Day. Trip notes is one tradition that helps add romance to our daily lives.
At one point in my career I spent about fifty percent of my time traveling to exotic locations like Sydney, Australia, and less exotic ones, like Sault St. Marie, Michigan. Before I left I would leave a short note for her in a location that she’d find that evening. At the end of the note would be a clue about where to find the note for the next evening. That note had a clue leading to the next for the following evening and so on until I returned.
She stashed notes in my luggage that I would have to locate the first night of my trip. Each was marked with a date and one of the last things I did before I retired for the night was to read my daily note from her.
They were usually short notes with rarely anything profound. Sometimes we would suggest a date when I returned or ask a question that we should discuss together. The primary purpose though was to stay connected and let each other know that we cared about each other.
Although I rarely travel we do keep up the tradition of trip notes. But the most important thing we try to do is to make sure that everyday is Valentine’s Day.
On my Facebook Page a conversation about what romance means to your partner: The Five Love Languages: https://www.facebook.com/dennisrbrooke