By Bill Fox/Columnist
This year, Sunday the 14th is Valentine’s Day and Monday the 15th is Family Day – two consecutive days where many of us celebrate the love we have for our partners and then the love we have for our families.
I can’t say enough about my wife of 46 years. Those that know me, might say she is a saint for putting up with me for all these years. Strangely, during these days of isolation, I believe we have grown even closer together and certainly it has made me appreciate my best friend, Denise even more. I think it may help some of us to think about how we first met and what attracted us to each other. I remember a good priest friend giving me some advice before we got married. He said, “You don’t marry someone to make YOU happy. If your love is real, you want to marry them so that you can make THEM happy.”
I am equally blessed and appreciative of my four sons and their partners and our four grandchildren in B.C. I once read about a study that asked single men to list what they would be looking for in a potential partner. What do you think, men? Likewise, women were asked the same question about what they would be looking for in their future husband. Again, ladies, what might be your response? The number one answer for both men and women surprised me! Sense of humour was the number one response. That makes so much sense now. My wife has a great sense of humour and nothing makes me happier than seeing my sons and their wives, and especially our grandchildren, laughing and enjoying themselves.
Do you know who Saint Valentine was and how he became associated with this ancient rite? There are a few possibilities, but my favourite legend contends that Valentine was a priest from the third century in Rome. When the Emperor, Claudius II, decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered he be put to death.
Now, according to the Greeting Card Association in the United States, an estimated one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year. (Seeing as the U.S.A. is 10 times larger than Canada, I think it is reasonable to assume we send out 100 million cards)
On average, almost $120 is spent on Valentine’s Day. So what do we buy each other? Many folks do more than one of these options: candy (including chocolate) is bought by 47.5 per cent of us, flowers are given by 34.3 per cent, cards by 52.1 per cent, jewelry by 17.3 per cent, and dining out is part of the Valentines’ celebration for 34.6 per cent of us. I suspect COVID may alter these statistics this year.
I found some interesting quotes about love; I thought you might think about:
“Loving is not just looking at each other, it’s looking together in the same direction”- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.” -Author Unknown
“For you see, each day I love you more, today, more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.”-Rosemonde Gérard
Lastly, from that wonderful romantic novel writer, Stephen King, “The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.”
I wish everyone a happy Family and Valentine’s Day and if you don’t have anyone special in your life, send a card or note to someone you think highly of. Perhaps even phone calls may make their day and will make you feel better, too.
If you still can’t find true love on Valentine’s Day, perhaps you should check out these Canadian communities:
Cupids, Newfoundland & Labrador
Heart Lake, Alberta and Heart Lake Ontario
Heart’s Delight, Newfoundland & Labrador
Heart’s Content, Newfoundland & Labrador
Heart’s Desire, Newfoundland & Labrador
Heart’s Hill, Saskatchewan
I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org loving these two special days.