Hammertime: Make Valentine’s Day a year-long deal

This week’s Hammertime celebrates the special Valentine’s Day

Mike Rainone


I have to casually admit that at the age of 76 years it is a little more difficult to get to flustered or fussy over Valentine’s Day, which by way, in case you may have forgotten, will see so many individuals and couples get totally flustered and ‘love-struck’ tomorrow, Feb. 14.

But then again yours truly is so fortunate to still have so many sweethearts in my life, including my wonderful wife of 39 years, a lovely bunch of granddaughters, daughters in law, and nieces, as well as a very long and memorable list of great ladies that I have been so blessed to have become friends, work-mates, and acquaintances with over all these years.

Let’s try to remember the puppy love and the crushes

Even though it may have only been Grade two that we started exchanging love-notes and cut-out valentine’s, we always blushed when the little lass with the pony tails in row two smiled after getting our mushy card, or when we received the biggest heart from the tough girl who we didn’t really think liked us at all. Then in Grade 7 we got snubbed by the home room honey, which broke our hearts at least until the weekend; but then going on into high school the courting competition got real hot and heavy, with the jocks who had the hot set of wheels usually getting the prom queens, while the rest of us had to ride double on our bikes or walk our dates home.

Then later as single adults we showered our heart-throb crushes with flowers, gifts, and sassy cards; but quickly found out that all that sudden amorous attention did not always do the trick. Whether we were always the life of the party or the class ‘shy guy’ we quickly found out that this sudden flirtation would likely only last as long as the flowers or the candy if we did not treat those young ladies with flattery, good sense, and respect.

Once we got married we quite often forgot that very special Valentine’s Day, which always goes a long way to spice up the romance and gains a whole lot of brownie points. But if we failed to impress our mates we always have the whole blissful year ahead of us to make up for the short falls and occasional bumps along the road to married bliss. Now as seniors we still fondly sit back and watch the romantic antics of the younger set, but must always treasure the fact that lifetime sweethearts are very precious. Hopefully we can fondly look back on the fact that no matter how bumpy our marriage adventure may have been, we survived, and we must now pass some of those tried and tested tips of love and understanding onto our children and grandchildren. There is no doubt that everyone still rushes around in a compulsive panic to pick up the cards, flowers, and gifts for our honeys on Feb. 14th. But trying to remember way back to my dating days are there still those initial ‘love connections’ that include such scary but exciting events such as blind dates, going Dutch, working hard to get along with her parents, opening the car door for your date, or just simply holding hands and helping out-no matter how long we may have been together?

When was the first Valentine’s Day celebrated?

Although I really couldn’t find all the facts, some romantically minded historians claim that Cupid’s arrows have been flying around and hitting the mark since the 4th century B.C. in Rome. This first official ‘lover’s holiday’ featured an annual lottery wherein the young men would draw a young lady’s name from a box, and then the couples would be assigned to each other for the entire year for entertainment and pleasure. That just might have been the world’s first real commitment of ‘going steady’ and having to compromise and get along with each other for 365 days straight, which could have led to eventual marriage or a nervous breakdown?

Some more love notes

• To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little. To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.

• Love may not make the world spin around, but it sure makes a lot of people dizzy.

• A little boy asked his father, “Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?” The father replied, “I don’t know, son, I’m still paying for it.”

• Men who have pierced ears are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and have bought jewellery.

• Here’s to love, the only fire for which there is no insurance, and the only game that is not called off because of darkness.

• Even Mother Nature’s creatures get involved in the ‘power of love.’ Romance in your fish tank is called ‘guppy love’, while birds in love are called ‘tweet hearts’, and over the years chatting about the ‘birds and the bees’ has become a whole lot more complicated to explain to our vibrant and witty younger generations.

• When it all began Adam and Eve were the first couple to celebrate Valentine’s Day. He wanted to have a party but she claimed that she had nothing to wear, which hasn’t changed that much over time has it?

It is my sincere wish that this and every other Valentines’ day will see the sparks of affection sizzle and be sweet and very special for each and every one of us of all ages…so much in fact that it will last for the next 364 days. Have a great week, all of you.


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