As we rush around to create the ‘perfect mood’ for Valentine’s Day on Sunday, Feb. 14, our hearts will surely be in a flutter for our significant others, no matter what our ages might be from nine to 99. Most of us will fondly remember our first grade school days, when we spent many hours cutting cardboard Valentine’s cards out of big colored book, scribbled in our secret little love notes, then packed them all into our lunch kits and took them off the Red Brick School for our annual Valentine’s Day party.
While sharing all the heart shaped candy treats, we also handed out the cards to all our buddies, some rather shyly and likely blushed or giggled a little. In those days, usually everyone in the class exchanged one of those cards (some mushier than others) and that included those to our teachers, the janitor and even the class bully. As we progressed into the higher grades, especially into junior high, all of us likely developed the ‘puppy love crushes’ that usually only lasted for a week or two, but would get much more serious and created a few spats and broke a few hearts as we entered into what many called the ‘terrible teens.’ Ask yourself, how long did it take for us to be brave enough to cross the gymnasium floor at the School Sock Hop to ask that special someone to dance, then dared to offer to walk her home, but were informed that her mother was coming to pick her up at 10 p.m.?
We got to ‘let it loose’ on Friday nights, when everyone ventured out on blind dates or Dutch treat at the local movie theatres or met at arena for the game, and the few ‘jocks’ who were lucky enough to have a car were really popular. The final big treat of the night was to meet at the local restaurants, pack everyone into the plush booths, played our favourite tunes on the juke box, and then shared chips and gravy and a pop that wasn’t watered down in those days. Such was our initiation into the wild and wonderful and wacky world of romance, where every day was Valentine’s Day, the competition for bragging rights and going steady got even tougher in high school, and would, of course, become a whole lot more expensive, complicated, and stressful when we finally grew up and became adults.
*The lingerie store was full of amorous shoppers selecting Valentines’ gifts for their wives or honeys. A young businessman could not resist the lacy black negligee, and right behind him in the line at the counter was an elderly farmer holding a long flannel nightgown. After glancing at the much sexier choice of the young man, the farmer then placed the nightgown on the counter and asked, ‘would you have anything in black flannelette?
*The shy but still very romantic man or woman will always find the right things to say in a beautiful card with lace and hearts, or by sending a sweet and sassy Valentine’s Day e-card.
*Among the ‘new era’ Valentine’s Day gifts are a romantic Moped ride for two in the park, which certainly beats peddling your bikes; a dozen roses of her favourite color digitally printed on high quality paper, which would last for a lifetime instead of just a week; an intimate ‘honeymoon on a houseboat’ or a comfy gramma/grampa pod in the back yard.
*Whatever the exchange of gifts may be this Valentine’s Day, it is always the thought that counts, but the most important promise for the next 364 days is to love your wife, love your kids, love your friends, love your pets, and no matter what, love yourself. The run to spring is getting just a little shorter, so please enjoy, and have a great week, all of you.