The year was 1985. I was an 18-year-old college sophomore at UNC, dating a guy from NC State in Raleigh. We were both musicians, played in a band together and we were a bi-racial couple – not as common then as it is today, but not unheard of, either. (I’m not sure if it was more scandalous that we were a black-white couple, or a State-Carolina couple …) Even though I was advanced academically and musically, I was socially green and as clueless as a toddler when it came to politics or social issues.
That’s why I was genuinely baffled at his response when I told him I had made Valentine’s Day reservations for us to have dinner at the Plantation Inn. He flatly refused to go there with me and I cried angry-teenager tears. But, I did learn a lot about what it means to be a white woman dating a black man in America that Valentine’s Day. We are still close, and we still laugh about that one every year.
As a life-long learner, I like to know the history of traditions and holidays. Maybe you do, too. Here’s a good video from the History channel that tells the story of how Valentine’s Day came to be one of the biggest holidays we Americans celebrate: The History of Valentine’s Day.
Now, this conversation has likely conjured a few special Valentine’s Day memories from your vault. If you feel so inclined, I would be honored to have you share one of your favorites here. (Keep it super-clean – not the early pagan fertility celebration kind of story, please.)
A lot of folks who land on this site are not local, but for those who are and are able, I’d like to invite you to come out to a special musical performance of Guitars & Friends this Valentine’s Day. The show is from 7-9 at the Nash Arts Center in Nashville, NC and you can buy your tickets early at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1152491.
I’m pretty sure this is a reservation you’ll want to keep! 😉