Being long-distance makes most things harder, but especially Valentine’s Day. Add to that the fact that it also marks 2 years of Cory and I being a couple and there is theoretically a huge pressure to make it “big”. Cory and I didn’t talk about getting each other gifts. I think we both knew this Valentine’s wouldn’t be a “big gift” day because we just bought a car and we are saving for a house down payment at the moment. What we did decide to do was go to Panera bread (me at Huntington Mall, Cory in San Marcos), buy some strawberries and nutella, and Skype. That may seem like a weird combination, but it has meaning. Cory and I officially became a couple on Valentines day (super cliche) at Panera 2 years ago. Cory bought strawberries and nutella for us to eat before picking me up that night. The Skype call this year was just so we could see each other. Hold up! Story-time!
Ok, rewind 2 years……I am in my second semester as a Master’s student at Marshall. I meet this cute girl at church and… well I’ll save all the details for another post. 🙂
Anyway, the week before Valentine’s, I drop my phone in water and ruin it. The nearest US Cellular store is almost 2 hours away and I don’t have much time on my hands. Besides, it just snowed that week, so the roads were still pretty bad. So the only day I have to travel is Friday…Valentine’s Day. Of course, there is this cute girl that I really like and I think she likes me, but I don’t know if I should do anything for her on Valentine’s Day. I mean, we haven’t gone out THAT many times yet. So what do I do? Ask her to go with me to get a new phone, of course! It’s a long drive, she can keep me company and we can get to know each other better! Well, she needed to study and couldn’t take the time, so I went by myself. I told her that I would let her know when I got my new phone and when I got back to Huntington. About 3 hours later, I finally text her I have a new phone and I’m on my way back. The whole way back I’m thinking: She didn’t take the time to go with me, do I ask her out to dinner? Does she even like me like that? It’s so cliche! etc, etc. I finally make it back to Huntington and…what’s THAT?! A note on my doorstep?! And REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS?! I get super excited and run up to read the note, heart racing. It’s a hand-made card that says on the front “I like you…” and on the inside “…a Hole Punch” with a picture of the tool. It was from Beth! I immediately texted her that I got the note and asked her out to dinner. I think she had already eaten, but she agreed to go out anyway. I tried to come up with something fun and cute we could do, that wasn’t what everyone else was doing, so I quickly drove to Kroger and bought stemmed strawberries and Nutella, picked her up, and then went to Panera for coffee. I also pulled out the strawberries and Nutella and we had them together in a booth, one of only 2 couples in the entire store. That night, cliche as it was, we made our relationship official.
So back in 2016…
What neither of us knew was that we had planned surprises for each other this year. Here is how we pulled them off:
I bought Cory’s Valentine’s Day card months ago. I’m talking back in November. Hey, Valentine’s cards were cheap then, and I found one I liked. I wrote in it 2 weeks early, I bought him a bag of Reese’s. I addressed and stamped it, then I never made it to the Post Office. I found myself on Friday evening not having sent Cory anything at all for Valentine’s Day. I was stuck. There was literally nothing that I could buy or send that would make it to Texas in time. I remembered what I had done for our first Valentine’s day (which, consequently, gave Cory the courage to ask me out). I thought I could replicate that…but there was still the issue of delivery. I don’t know the phone number of anyone in Texas but Cory. I Facebook messaged his friend, Megan, a former lab-mate. She had recently moved back to New Jersey. I asked her for Diana’s number, another lab-mate, and explained my task to her. Diana saved my skin by agreeing to help. I sent her a copy of the very first card I ever gave Cory with the word “like” changed to to the word “love”. I truly believe Cory was surprised!
Surprised, yes, and super confused! Before going in my apartment, I looked around the corner, looked back towards the road, searched for a car I recognized, then checked the door to make sure it was still locked. As I unlocked the door and gingerly stepped in, I cautiously looked around and even said “Hello?! Anyone here?!” half expecting Beth to pop out from behind the door. How in the world could someone have left a card and Reese’s physically on my doorstep, and Beth, the only one who knows the details, still be in WV?! I texted her “…how did you do that?!” I could only guess that she had somehow got the help from one of my lab-mates. Still, I was surprised.
So what did I do? Well, knowing the postal service, I sent things super early. First, I shipped a jar of cookie butter and seasonal tea from Trader Joe’s that arrived the week leading up to Valentine’s. YUMMMMMM!!! I also picked out a card and raced to the post office to place it in the maildrop with not even a minute to spare before last pickup time, hoping it would get to WV by Valentine’s. What we have learned today is that Cory is way better at time management. On Valentine’s though, I was able to get help from my sister-in-law Sarah, who picked out some beautiful Lillies to give to Beth from me. I’m not sure if she was expecting anything else, but I think she was happily surprised. I was! Sarah walked into the house on Sunday afternoon with flowers. She said she felt like everyone in Kroger was thinking she was buying flowers for herself. The best part about my flowers is that they are getting prettier everyday as new buds bloom.
Valentine’s is a day that Cory and I want to use as a reminder to cherish each other every day. Hopefully, this will be our last one spent so far apart.
That’s it for now,
Beth and Cory Goff