If You’re a Boomer-Senior Looking For Love This Valentine’s Day, Read On
“Fate loves the fearless”
James Russell Lowell
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching as one of the year’s most notable traditions. As Boomers and Seniors, only because we’ve enjoyed so many, we tend to dismiss it as just another day, with the exception perhaps of presenting a loved one with flowers or a box of Russell Stover or See’s chocolates. In my case, the diet wouldn’t do too well with the chocolates, so as an alternative plan my BoomerGuy and I are heading to the desert for a day in the pre-spring sunshine walking through some of the most magnificent plant nurseries and gardens in southern California. They are not quite yet in full bloom, but the assortment of desert wildlife and flora is something to behold—and that’s how we will celebrate the special day.
However, my blog this week is not about what we’re doing, but rather what a dear friend has ventured out to experience. I’m hoping you have someone near and dear to celebrate with this Valentine’s Day, but if not, then you might enjoy this story of how love finds its way for two people, even at our age. Now, sit back and imagine…
She is 76, lived across the street from me, spunky as all get out, very attractive, and single. Having been in the real estate business for years and tired of the grind, especially this past year of shutdown, she finally made the plunge to commit to a relationship she had been nurturing for five years—ONLINE! She met this delightful man of her dreams via one of the dating sites. They had been communicating for the past five years and simply put ‘liked everything about each other,’ so prior to the New Year she jumped on a plane and flew to North Carolina to meet him in person for the first time. That’s right, southern California to North Carolina, only about 3000 miles, thank you very much! She returned after New Year’s, and said that’s it, I’m tired of being alone and I’m moving cross country to be with my soul mate. He’s 74 and bravo to them both.
“At some point, everyone’s inner fire dims, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone out. It could simply be time for a break—and potentially an adjustment of intentions. Listen to what pulls you, and you will come across someone or something that will reignite that fire and passion bigger than before”
She returned, sold her house and car, packed up and together with a full load just drove back to the east coast before the winter storms hit which took them across nine states in five days. They are in the process of settling into his home and making it theirs, with her wonderful touches. They might even be featured on HGTV with all the modifications and style additions. What an outstanding Love Story, perhaps one for the ages. Here’s an example of two people who refused to let their light dim, they kept it alive for five years talking, emailing, texting and most recently Zooming remotely, then made the plunge. They will enjoy their Valentine’s Day like never before. Can you imagine the excitement.
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
My message to you this Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for that spark that is absent from your life get out from your corner of the forest and explore. Be creative like my friend, don’t rush it but when you believe in your heart you have found that sparkle and glow, pursue it with all the vigor in your heart and soul. Just think, you might BE HAPPY.
A Short History Lesson
As a post-script, I thought you might enjoy a bit of history about Valentine’s Day. As with many of my blogs, I will attempt to add value by researching a variety of sources that bring meaningful thought to further the reader’s enjoyment. Such is the case here, my compliments and thanks to www.traveltriangle.com and www.history.com for providing an outstanding perspective on this special day celebrated in so many different parts of the world.
Valentine’s Day around the world is celebrated in the name of Saint Valentine, but who is this mysterious saint and why is the festival observed with such gusto? Although the truth behind the festival is murky, there are a few stories you might like to know. It’s said that Valentine was a priest who served during the 3rd century in Rome, and when emperor Claudius II announced that single men made better soldiers than those with families and wives, he outlawed marriage for young soldiers. Valentine went against this injustice being done to young men and started performing secret marriages for young lovers. When the emperor found out about Valentine’s actions, he ordered the saint be put to death.
Another tale suggests the saint may have been killed helping the Christians escape harsh Roman prisons. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl, possibly his jailor’s daughter, who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged he wrote her a letter signed ‘From Your Valentine,’ an expression still in use today. Regardless of how history portrays the events, gradually Saint Valentine became a sympathetic, heroic and romantic figure. So popular in fact that couples all across the world started celebrating Valentine’s Day as the day of love.
It was commonly believed in France and England that February 14th was the beginning of bird’s mating season, hence the idea that Valentine’s Day be reserved as a day of romance. One of my favorite references is from the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer who is believed to have been the first to record St. Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem ‘Parliament of Foules.’ He wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s Day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”
Such fun to read these accounts. As you can imagine, Valentine’s Day is full of traditions around the world. Here are just a few notables you will find interesting where the day isn’t all about flowers and chocolates.
FRANCE. It is believed the first-ever Valentine’s Day card was originated in France, when Charles, the Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife from his prison in 1415. And the French village of ‘Valentine’ turns into the epicenter of romance between the 12th and 14th of February. One can see the beautiful yards, trees, and homes all decorated with love cards, roses, and proposals for marriage flakes. It is probably the most stunning Valentine’s Day traditions in the world.
ARGENTINA. One day is not enough to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Argentina, the land of seduction and tango. They take their time feasting on all things love, dedicating an entire week to the holiday, where friends and lovers exchange sweets and kisses.
SOUTH KOREA. Romantic couples celebrate the day of love on the 14th of each month.
GHANA. February 14th is celebrated as the ‘National Chocolate Day.’ It is a step the Ghana government took in 2007 to increase tourism throughout the country. Ghana is among the largest cocoa-producing countries in the world.
BULGARIA. Like so many countries, Bulgaria celebrates Valentine’s Day in its own style. On the 14th of February, San Trifon Zartan is celebrated as the day of the ‘winemakers.’ Young and old couples acknowledge their love with a glass of wonderful local wine.
MIAO, CHINA. The ‘Sister’s Meal’ festival is celebrated on the 15th of March. During the festival, women wear silver accessories and beautiful dresses, which are some of the most gorgeous customs around the world. They cook various dishes of colored rice that’s offered on silk fabric to young men walking on roads. Their destiny is found by the object in the chosen rice—two chopsticks mean love and a clove of garlic means the relationship is over before it has even begun.
DENMARK. Valentine’s Day is one of the newer festivals and the country celebrates the day of love and romance on February 14th with a slight twist. The day is not limited to roses and chocolates. Friends and lovers exchange handmade cards with pressed white flowers that are called snowdrops.
JAPAN. They do things a bit differently on February 14th. The girl friends and women buy gifts and chocolates for their male companions or lovers.
BRAZIL. ‘Dia dos Namorados’ festival, also known as ‘Lover’s Day’ with the usual exchange of chocolates, cards, flowers, and one can witness music festivals and dance performances. Gifting is not reserved for couples, anyone can do it especially during family dinners where it is very common.
ENGLAND. On Valentine’s Day women used to place five bay leaves on their pillows. This was done with an aim to bring dreams of their future husbands.
ITALY. Valentine’s Day was originally celebrated as their spring festival. Another tradition was for young, unmarried couples to wake up before dawn to spot their future husband or wife.
SLOVENIA. Their tradition is based on the patron saint of spring. It is believed that on February 14th, plants start to regenerate as this day marks the first day working in the fields for the new year. Another popular belief is that birds ‘propose’ to each other on this day.
And lastly is the Red Envelope, which bears the timing of the Chinese New Year. In 2021, the first day of the Chinese or Lunar New Year is today, February 12th and is the Year of the Ox, which signifies good luck and a time to foucs on relationships, whether they be friendships or love. Red envelopes are gifts presented as social and family gatherings during this time. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and wards off evil spirits. It is also gifted as a gesture of kindness when someone visits. Popular themes among these paper-cuts and couplets include good fortune, happiness, wealth and longevity.
Here in the United States, the custom of giving red envelopes is alive and well, especially among restaurants featuring Chinese cuisine. You can find them in novelty shops and online. I sent a red envelope to my friend in North Carolina, perhaps you should think about doing the same with your family, friends and neighbors.
At BoomerGal, we’re all about inspiring health, wellness, happiness and success with a little history thrown in, and to remind everyone, we are still relevant in all that we do, and Happy Valentine’s Day.