Happy Valentine's Day to you! We hope your day is filled with paper hearts and sweet treats. And even if you don't have a particular Valentine in mind this year, we'll step in and be your virtual Valentine.

This year our Valentine's Day is going to be a bit subdued. I've been working a TON on a project at my day job, so I've not had much time to build Wendy a giant heart shaped mirror, table, outdoor display, or other crazy show of my affection. But if I weren't working so much, you know I totally would have. :-)

It is a little bit of a fun time of year around our neighborhood. Similar to Christmas, many of the various boutique storefronts get into the spirit of the Valentine's Day celebration with creative displays to lure shoppers. Take a look at some of our favorites.

Helen Olivia

Beyond the neighborhood flair, Wendy and I received one special Valentine that we wanted to share with you all. 

Though Wendy and I aren't particularly old (regardless of how we may feel), we've been in each other's lives for quite a long while. This year marks the 17th year since we began dating as Juniors in high school, and our wedding anniversary in October of this year will be our tenth. Wow, how time flies.

In looking back on 17 years together (yes, that's pretty much half of our lives), we always make particular note of the four year stretch of our time in college at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. This period of our lives, where we were first independent and living without our parents, helped to shape who we'd become. It also helped us realize that this high school boyfriend and girlfriend couple could maybe, just maybe, make a pretty good team as husband and wife in the real world.

In 2002, as young 24 year olds, we got married on Miami's campus to recognize and celebrate the place where our relationship was shaped. With that ceremony, Wendy and I also gained status within our Alma mater as an official "Miami Merger."

We're not overly crazy alumni or anything, but we did really enjoy our school and the experiences we were able to encounter while at Miami. As a tribute, and as part of Miami Merger tradition, we even had an "M" groom's cake (though not in the shape of an M as is more typical).

In the classic sense of the term, a Miami Merger represents a couple that met while attending Miami University and went on to get married. It's a badge of honor for students that fit the bill, and something celebrated in many ways. And oddly enough, the statistics on how many mergers there have been are somewhat shocking. Roughly 14% of Miami alumni are married to each other. That's over 26,000 couples if your calculating. And this number is thought to represent the largest number of college alumni from any one school married to each other.

Though Wendy and I were together nearly one and a half years before we packed up our families' cars and headed south to Miami, we're still considered a merger since we both attended and are now married.

In recognition of our membership in this "exclusive" club, Wendy and I receive a Valentine's Day card every year to celebrate our merger status. In past years we've received puzzles, magnets, or photo prints of the campus. This year we received the following poem and card.

It's a nice way to be reminded of the wonderful times we experienced together in college, and that our time together there can continue on in our lives today.

How did you meet your significant other? Any similar stories to us out there? Who knows, maybe you're even a Miami Merger like we are. I hear there are about 50,000 of us out there.

Comments 12


2/14/2012 at 1:41 PM
What a sweet story! My husband and I have a quasi-similar tale: We're also both from Ohio, met when I was a junior in high school (he's two years older), dated throughout college, married after I graduated, and now live in Old Town. I love Miami's Merger idea - wish UVA had something similar!
Wow, seems like we have a lot in common! Thanks for sharing your story Lindsey!
2/14/2012 at 1:57 PM
Mike and I met at the University of Guelph. I was in my third year of Zoology, and he was in his fourth year of Systems and Computing Engineering. When I finished reading this post I went and checked to see if our school has a similar "merger" thing - they don't (boo).

We're getting married next February!
Congratulations on your upcoming nuptuals, Ashley! How exciting!
Victoria Vergason
2/14/2012 at 4:40 PM
Thanks for the mention! And a very sweet story about you two lovebirds...
:-) Happy Valentine's Day! Thanks for making King Street an even better place to be!
2/14/2012 at 6:52 PM
We just have a boring tail of meeting through a mutual friend, but it was a dateless Valentine's day that involves the circumstances that got us together.

These days we don't pay much attention to Valentine's Day or our dating anniversary, but I suppose we have a connection to it.
Boring tale or great story...I guess what really matters is that you're right for each other. :-) <3 you guys!
2/15/2012 at 5:06 PM
I suppose I didn't post the actual story:

Gretchen met someone when she went out on Valentine's Day with some friends. She and that guy scheduled a second date a week later. The day of the date she happened to hear him call into a local radio station being a moron. She cancelled the date and came out with our mutual friend instead, where we met. Our first date was a week later and the rest is history.
2/14/2012 at 8:19 PM
We met through work. But the part that makes it interesting is that we met on the phone...I was in WI and he was in CA. We met once in person, at a meeting, and then dated by phone for 8 months before he asked me to marry him. It will be 13 years this summer!
What a great story! Happy Valentine's Day!
2/15/2012 at 8:58 PM
M and I met... through our moms. They work at a grocery store together. They have been friends for 30 years, and creepily enough, M remembers when I was born (he's ten years older than me). They still like to pretend it wasn't a set up... I guess we'll never know.

The strangest part, though, is that my last THREE relationships involved someone working at that same grocery store... It used to be called Miracle Food Mart. Maybe I could be the first "Miracle Merger" :)
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