I love Valentine’s Day and all that it means. Of course it is named after Saint Valentine, the Patron Saint of betrothed couples, beekeepers, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travelers, and young people. His feast day is celebrated on February 14 and that when we celebrate the love we have for someone special.
Throughout the years I have tried to take this to extremes. One time I had some good friends who had a band. We went to my girlfriend’s workplace, set the band up along with a table complete with flowers, wine and a nice meal. The band played one of her favourite songs drawing her out of her office to see what the hell was going on. There am I with a goofy smile on my face. It was well received as her co-workers knew what was happening in advance and thought I was sweet.
Another time I had two friends carry me in a large box to my girlfriend’s house in Chibougamau. I emerged from the box in a white tuxedo carrying a bottle of wine and two crystal flutes only to see the surprised face of my girlfriend’s father, a sergeant in the local police force. He loved me for the gesture, though it didn’t last long with his daughter.
One I always regretted not doing was my window-washing scheme. My plan was to be in a tuxedo and slowly dropped down to her floor. She worked with her back to the window. I would have a glass of champagne and a walkie-talkie in my hand. At the right moment a co-worker would hand her the walkie-talkie and a glass of bubbly and I would say, “Turn around, Happy Valentine’s Day from your favourite fool.” CBC was going to film this. While the window washing company was on board the building owners nixed it because of potential liabilities.
Having gotten older I am more sedate in my Valentine’s Day offerings. I usually give flowers and that old standby candy. But every now and then I recite my wife a poem by Robert Browning. I have included it below because it says what I feel.
All the breath and the bloom of the year in the bag of one bee:
All the wonder and wealth of the mine in the heart of one gem:
In the core of one pearl all the shade and the shine of the sea:
Breath and bloom, shade and shine, wonder, wealth, and—how far above them—
Truth, that’s brighter than gem,
Trust, that’s purer than pearl,—
Brightest truth, purest trust in the universe—all were for me
In the kiss of one girl.
The title is a Latin phrase that means “the highest good.” In my mind, to express love is the highest good, a plan that’s good for any day of the year.