Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How to Do Valentine’s Day When You’re Thousands of Miles Apart

 

This is the first year that @1967mustangman and I will be together in person for Valentine’s Day. The first year of our relationship was long distance, and our trips to see each other were determined by our grad school schedules.

Granted, I think Valentine’s Day is a stupid holiday that usually ends up encouraging men to spend ridiculous amounts of money on flowers that are going to end up in the trash out of a sense of obligation and single women to drink heavily while contemplating “I don’t need a man! I’ll get a puppy. A puppy won’t argue with me about how to fold a fitted sheet or cheat on me with his ugly executive assistant.”

My dislike of the made-up holiday aside, this is the first time in years that I will be with someone for Valentine’s Day — should be awesome, right? This year probably won’t be quite as romantic though as last year. Here’s the schedule for tonight:

  • 5:45 – VC makes a nice dinner, but doesn’t open a bottle of wine because we both have to work tomorrow.
  • 6:15 – Mustangman comes rushing over from work, which he will undoubtedly gotten out late from because someone always stops him on his way out.
  • 6:18 – We eat. “You might want to only eat half and take the rest for lunch tomorrow, since I didn’t make anything to take for lunch.”
  • 6:45 – We leave to go run errands before the stores close. There’s a big sale on at Macy’s, and it ends today.
  • 8:45 – Return home. Do stuff around the house. Do cat control, because it’s the time of day that Marcello gets squirrely and starts destroying things.
  • 9:30 – Mustangman goes home. I go to bed.

Not very romantic. However, last year was romantic, even with thousands of miles separating us.

For the 15 months we spent doing long distance, Skype and FaceTime were our best friends. Every evening we would get on Skype for 3-5 hours, essentially spending the evening together. We would keep the line open while we were studying or cooking or cleaning. It gave a sense of normalcy and intimacy even though we were on opposite sides of the country. A couple days before Valentine’s Day last year, Mustangman said “What do you want to do for Valentine’s Day? I feel like we should do something.” I looked confused for a minute. “I’m not sure what we can do with you in Portland and me here…” He suggested we have a Skype date. We would both make the same meal at our respective houses and “share” a meal together while on Skype. “How about doing some filets? Filets would be good.” Yes, filets would be good, but I was a poor grad student, and the idea of spending $15 on a single piece of steak did not sound good. Initially I said yes, but then the day of Valentine’s Day, I told him I was just going to use up some chicken I had in the fridge.

“Babe, I really don’t need to be spending the money on expensive steaks right now. I’m just going to have some chicken.”

“Hold on … just hold on.”

“I’m going to the store right now. If I see something on sale that looks nice, I’ll get it.”

At Publix, I walked up and down the meat department looking for something cheap. I noticed a young man with a camo Tennessee Vols hat and the green Shipt t-shirt I had started seeing more and more of recently. The guy was talking on his phone loudly when he reached into the meat case, grabbed what he was looking for, and walked on. Mustangman was on the phone with me as meandered around the store.

“Hey babe, are you going to be home soon?”

“As soon as I finish getting what I need.”

“So, maybe in like 30 minutes?”

“Yeah, probably.”

“Ok, just don’t buy any meat.”

I got home, unpacked my groceries, and within 15 minutes there was a knock on my door. When I opened the door, that same young man from Publix was standing there, grocery bags in hand.

“Are you VC?”

“Yes…”

“Your boyfriend, Mustangman, wanted me to bring you some things on his behalf for Valentine’s Day. Here you go.”

In the bags from Publix were two rib eyes, two dozen red roses, dinner rolls, and two boxes of Earl Grey tea. That night, we ate a romantic dinner together over Skype, and finished the evening by watching Dangerous Beauty at the same time on our own computers. “I wanted to be able to have a romantic night with you, even if you’re in Alabama, so I went online and found a grocery delivery service.”

It was one of the most romantic times in our relationship. I think this one’s a keeper.

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  1. PHenry Member

    The romance is strong with this one! Heartwarming, to witness young love in bloom.

    • #1
    • February 14, 2017, at 11:29 AM PST
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  2. Stina Member

    This is sweet :)

    Nine years ago today, Mr. M messaged while I was putting in a long day at work. He was traveling and out in the Great Desert of Nevada and California (some crazy, lonely military base out there where servers melt in the summer).

    I think I smiled for the rest of the day and it started a week long conversation that ended with his return to O-Town and a homemade apple pie. The rest is history.

    We haven’t had very romantic V-Days, but it doesn’t bother me much. Today, he is traveling again, so I’m taking our kids out to dinner.

    • #2
    • February 14, 2017, at 11:34 AM PST
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  3. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa

    CM (View Comment):
    This is sweet ?

    Nine years ago today, Mr. M messaged while I was putting in a long day at work. He was traveling and out in the Great Desert of Nevada and California (some crazy, lonely military base out there where servers melt in the summer).

    I think I smiled for the rest of the day and it started a week long conversation that ended with his return to O-Town and a homemade apple pie. The rest is history.

    We haven’t had very romantic V-Days, but it doesn’t bother me much. Today, he is traveling again, so I’m taking our kids out to dinner.

    That’s really sweet.

    • #3
    • February 14, 2017, at 11:37 AM PST
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  4. GrannyDude Member

    DANG! Mustangman….?!?!?

    • #4
    • February 14, 2017, at 11:38 AM PST
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  5. Douglas Inactive

    Vicryl Contessa: Granted, I think Valentine’s Day is a stupid holiday that usually ends up encouraging men to spend ridiculous amounts of money on flowers that are going to end up in the trash out of a sense of obligation and single women to drink heavily while contemplating “I don’t need a man! I’ll get a puppy. A puppy won’t argue with me about how to fold a fitted sheet or cheat on me with his ugly executive assistant.”

    With that kind of attitude, if I wasn’t already happily hitched, I’d have chased you myself. You’re my kinda dame, VC. ‘Stang’s getting a great one.

    • #5
    • February 14, 2017, at 11:45 AM PST
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  6. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Before my lovely wife Amanda married me and became C. A. Amanda, we were separated by merely hundreds of miles — I in Santa Rosa, California and she in Lehi, Utah. We Skyped every day, frequently until one of us fell asleep.

    For Valentine’s Day, we both queued up Netflix and watched The Princess Bride together. Same movie, just separated by distance.

    • #6
    • February 14, 2017, at 11:52 AM PST
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  7. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    DANG! Mustangman….?!?!?

    He’s definitely the romantic one in our relationship, though I think that’s actually pretty common to have the man be the romantic one and the woman the slightly more pragmatic one. Jeff Foxworthy does a bit about the difference between men and women: if a man comes home and finds his wife naked on the couch he thinks “Oh yeah, it’s on!” If a woman comes home and finds her husband sitting naked on the couch she thinks “Oh lord, now I have to wash that cushion.” That exactly the dynamic with me and MM.

    • #7
    • February 14, 2017, at 11:54 AM PST
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  8. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    Before my lovely wife Amanda married me and became C. A. Amanda, we were separated by merely hundreds of miles — I in Santa Rosa, California and she in Lehi, Utah. We Skyped every day, frequently until one of us fell asleep.

    For Valentine’s Day, we both queued up Netflix and watched The Princess Bride together. Same movie, just separated by distance.

    I love it! We did the same thing with Dangerous Beauty. It’s amazing how Skype has revolutionized communication. Just this morning, my mom and I did FaceTime so we could go over some wedding planning stuff. Video calls make being at a distance tolerable.

    • #8
    • February 14, 2017, at 11:56 AM PST
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  9. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    Before my lovely wife Amanda married me and became C. A. Amanda, we were separated by merely hundreds of miles — I in Santa Rosa, California and she in Lehi, Utah. We Skyped every day, frequently until one of us fell asleep.

    For Valentine’s Day, we both queued up Netflix and watched The Princess Bride together. Same movie, just separated by distance.

    I love it! We did the same thing with Dangerous Beauty. It’s amazing how Skype has revolutionized communication. Just this morning, my mom and I did FaceTime so we could go over some wedding planning stuff. Video calls make being at a distance tolerable.

    Video calls do. My parents love being able to see their grandkids (the latter occasionally tip the tablet back to see the grandparents who must be hiding back there).

    We did the movies several times that way. Oddly, many we picked had a scene with BASE jumping. We counted Princess Bride in that because there’s steep inclines. It’s still something we share today. Not actual BASE jumping. Just movies with it.

    • #9
    • February 14, 2017, at 12:01 PM PST
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  10. Nanda Panjandrum Inactive

    AWWWWWW, Principessa!….You’ve gone ‘n’ made my screen all blurry…What a pair of lovebirds! <3 (Gonna go read some Browning…).

    • #10
    • February 14, 2017, at 12:02 PM PST
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  11. Mountie Member

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    DANG! Mustangman….?!?!?

    He’s definitely the romantic one in our relationship, though I think that’s actually pretty common to have the man be the romantic one and the woman the slightly more pragmatic one. Jeff Foxworthy does a bit about the difference between men and women: if a man comes home and finds his wife naked on the couch he thinks “Oh yeah, it’s on!” If a woman comes home and finds her husband sitting naked on the couch she thinks “Oh lord, now I have to wash that cushion.” That exactly the dynamic with me and MM.

    I must remember not to drink coffee when I’m reading Ricochet. I took a sip just before the punch line. Then had to go clean coffee off the screen.

    Happy V day CC and MM.

    Oh yeah, tell MM that I have a ’65 Mustang that has been in my wife’s family since it left the showroom. 32K original miles on it.

    • #11
    • February 14, 2017, at 12:12 PM PST
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  12. Blondie Thatcher

    Aaawwww! Y’all have a nice evening just the same. And go ahead and open that bottle of wine. One glass won’t kill ya.

    • #12
    • February 14, 2017, at 12:29 PM PST
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  13. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vicryl Contessa: 8:45 Return home. Do stuff around the house. Do cat control, because it’s the time of day that Marcello gets squirrely and starts destroying things

    What does cat control entail?

    • #13
    • February 14, 2017, at 12:43 PM PST
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  14. Vance Richards Inactive
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Very sweet story.

    Didn’t have Skype back in my day so I just quit my job and moved. Worked out in the end but you’re way seems a little more sensible

    • #14
    • February 14, 2017, at 12:50 PM PST
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  15. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa: 8:45 Return home. Do stuff around the house. Do cat control, because it’s the time of day that Marcello gets squirrely and starts destroying things

    What does cat control entail?

    Laser pointer, picking him up, chasing him off of furniture, holding onto lamps so he won’t knock them over, yelling, crying.

    • #15
    • February 14, 2017, at 1:09 PM PST
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  16. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve said it before but it bears repeating – I’m so very thankful you two found each other. This is just lovely!

    (and yes, I’m the more romantic-minded in my marriage too)

    • #16
    • February 14, 2017, at 1:57 PM PST
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  17. Hammer, The Member

    I haven’t the foggiest idea why working tomorrow should necessitate not opening the bottle of wine.

    • #17
    • February 14, 2017, at 1:58 PM PST
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  18. Nanda Panjandrum Inactive

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):
    I haven’t the foggiest idea why working tomorrow should necessitate not opening the bottle of wine.

    Me, neither…

    • #18
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:01 PM PST
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  19. Blondie Thatcher

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):
    I haven’t the foggiest idea why working tomorrow should necessitate not opening the bottle of wine.

    As far as I’m concerned it’s just one more reason you need to open it.

    • #19
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:07 PM PST
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  20. Doug Watt Moderator

    A nice fire, a glass of wine together, and watching the cat FRAT (Frantic Rapid Activity Time) are those things money cannot buy. Getting a cat scan, from a live cat at 0430 hours, priceless.

    • #20
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:25 PM PST
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  21. Concretevol Thatcher

    Vicryl Contessa: 5:45 VC makes a nice dinner, but doesn’t open a bottle of wine because we both have to work tomorrow.

    OK, here’s my advice…open the damn wine and skip the rest of your schedule. I know it’s crazy to miss a sale at a department store but they will have another (probably starts tomorrow). Eat your nice dinner, watch a movie or something and finish the bottle. :)

    • #21
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:33 PM PST
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  22. Weeping Member

    Vicryl Contessa: It was one of the most romantic times in our relationship. I think this one’s a keeper.

    Definitely. Very, very sweet and thoughtful of him. Sounds like he’s worth dealing with the craziness of Portland for.  (Y’all are in Portland; aren’t you?)

    • #22
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:33 PM PST
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  23. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):
    I haven’t the foggiest idea why working tomorrow should necessitate not opening the bottle of wine.

    Because I don’t sleep as well when I’ve had an adult beverage, so getting up at 0500 is very difficult.

    • #23
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:36 PM PST
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  24. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa

    Weeping (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa: It was one of the most romantic times in our relationship. I think this one’s a keeper.

    Definitely. Very, very sweet and thoughtful of him. Sounds like he’s worth dealing with the craziness of Portland for. (Y’all are in Portland; aren’t you?)

    We are in Portland, unfortunately…

    • #24
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:37 PM PST
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  25. Hammer, The Member

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa: 5:45 VC makes a nice dinner, but doesn’t open a bottle of wine because we both have to work tomorrow.

    OK, here’s my advice…open the damn wine and skip the rest of your schedule. I know it’s crazy to miss a sale at a department store but they will have another (probably starts tomorrow). Eat your nice dinner, watch a movie or something and finish the bottle. ?

    Best advice you’ll get all day! You’ll always have more opportunities to buy things.

    • #25
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:38 PM PST
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  26. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa: 5:45 VC makes a nice dinner, but doesn’t open a bottle of wine because we both have to work tomorrow.

    OK, here’s my advice…open the damn wine and skip the rest of your schedule. I know it’s crazy to miss a sale at a department store but they will have another (probably starts tomorrow). Eat your nice dinner, watch a movie or something and finish the bottle. ?

    Best advice you’ll get all day! You’ll always have more opportunities to buy things.

    Well, Macy’s is having a jewelry sale that ends today, and we could get our wedding bands for super cheap. Super cheap is good.

    • #26
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:39 PM PST
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  27. Hammer, The Member

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):
    I haven’t the foggiest idea why working tomorrow should necessitate not opening the bottle of wine.

    Because I don’t sleep as well when I’ve had an adult beverage, so getting up at 0500 is very difficult.

    … an adult beverage.

    That’s your problem. You need at least 3.

    • #27
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:39 PM PST
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  28. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):
    I haven’t the foggiest idea why working tomorrow should necessitate not opening the bottle of wine.

    Because I don’t sleep as well when I’ve had an adult beverage, so getting up at 0500 is very difficult.

    … an adult beverage.

    That’s your problem. You need at least 3.

    Not everyone can party like it’s 1999 like you can. ;-)

    • #28
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:40 PM PST
    • Like
  29. Blondie Thatcher

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):
    I haven’t the foggiest idea why working tomorrow should necessitate not opening the bottle of wine.

    Because I don’t sleep as well when I’ve had an adult beverage, so getting up at 0500 is very difficult.

    … an adult beverage.

    That’s your problem. You need at least 3.

    Listen to this man. He has a point!?

    • #29
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:41 PM PST
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  30. Concretevol Thatcher

    Blondie (View Comment):

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Ryan M(cPherson) (View Comment):
    I haven’t the foggiest idea why working tomorrow should necessitate not opening the bottle of wine.

    Because I don’t sleep as well when I’ve had an adult beverage, so getting up at 0500 is very difficult.

    … an adult beverage.

    That’s your problem. You need at least 3.

    Listen to this man. He has a point!?

    If you can’t sleep after an adult beverage, you have not had enough adult beverages…..#caring

    • #30
    • February 14, 2017, at 2:49 PM PST
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