A Valentine’s Day Love Story


A few weeks ago I mentioned in a post that my sweetheart and I met under untypical circumstances, and I have been asked to tell the story. Well, today is the day since it is Valentine’s Day and JJ proposed to me on this day. So many things transpired to bring us together and if one thing didn’t happen, we would never have met. The story tells much better than it reads so I’ll make it short.

My mom had recently passed away and I went back to Ohio to spend Christmas with my sisters and sort through our mother’s belongings.

Ohio is where I grew up, so I had many close friends in the area and I had caught the eye of a very eligible bachelor, all of whom encouraged me to move back. Especially my oldest sister, who begged me to “come home.” I wasn’t interested. Ohio winters? Um, no.

I planned to return to California on Valentine’s Day. I had my ticket. My sister’s best friend Donna came by and asked me pretty please if I would go two weeks later because she was going to a conference in San Diego and we could go together and have some fun. Why not. I changed my ticket and went with her.

I went to visit my former roommate in San Clemente, and I asked her if she needed a roommate. She said if she’d only known I was coming back—she had rented out my room two weeks ago.

I knew I shouldn’t have postponed my trip!

So I looked in the Pennysaver, a neighborhood want-ad paper, for rooms for rent. I got a callback from one guy and made an appointment to go see his house that night. I rang the bell but nobody answered. I must have the wrong house, but I had left the paper with his address and phone number back on the dresser. I drove to a pay phone and tried to remember the number. Now, if you know me, you know I am hopeless with numbers, but I remembered this one. Same guy answered, I had the right house, he just didn’t hear the bell. I went back. We talked for a while and he showed me around the house. He was a very nice guy, and he wasn’t my type (or I would’ve run like hell). I said I needed to think about it. He said he’d hold it for me until tomorrow.

I drove home, conflicted about this move. It was a very nice house, but it was in the burbs and far from the beach…not what I was looking for. On the other hand, it could be good a good thing for me to get away from the beach and the beach people. Something told me to go back. I pulled into a liquor store and bought a bottle of sparkling wine, and went back. I knocked on the door, held out the champagne and said, “Congratulations, I’m your new roommate.”

I moved in and my new roommate and I got to know each other. We both had been divorced twice, for about six years, and we liked being single. Neither of us wanted to be in a romantic relationship. Ever. Period. We became great friends—we just clicked—and it wasn’t long before we both felt like we were being hit by lightning, despite our best efforts to fight it.

The story goes on with some funny anecdotes along the way, but that’s how we met. 32 years ago. It’s still fun.


  1. Ah, thanks, Ryan, that was fun to read. I remembered you were going to tell how you guys met, so I'm here bright and early to read.
    Sweet pic of you folks too.

    Happy Valentines Day!

    Give a few extra thoughts to us over here as we go through another blizzard, I'm so jealous of your weather out there. : )

  2. Obviously the love gods were trying their hardest to get you two together. It was meant to be and now it's 'happy ever after'........Great story. And such a cute couple.

  3. Sweet, very sweet.


  4. This puts a new spin on living together before you are married! It's a great story and you got to skip all the "dating" part of falling in love.


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