14 Feb 2015

Not A Traditional Romance For Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day and all over the world I am seeing red.

Red is the colour of all things emotional and the gauge of romance.

We don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, not because we don’t believe in romance but because Valentine’s was never really our thing. When I woke up this morning and talked about the significance of the day and the surprises that we didn’t have in store I started thinking about our love story.

Our love story wasn’t a traditional one; not in the chick flick, boy meets girl kind of way. Our love story crept up over time, little by little and took me by surprise when I least expected it. In my mind I was never going to end up with someone like mine, he was all wrong and not my type.

How wrong I was.

Some people feel love in an instant and for some it takes time and practice. I was a slow learner.

We met at an indecently young age: I was 20, he was 21. When we met I was reluctant, as I mentioned he wasn’t my type. Not that I had any idea who was my type; youth brings with it an assurance that defies years, a know-it-all attitude about most subjects, especially those of the heart. In hindsight an annoying trait, but not an uncommon one. If I had known then what I know now and all that… Fortunately one of us was wise beyond our years.

It was a set-up. My best friend insisted we meet, assured me that we were a perfect match. I wasn’t buying her matchmaker antics and resisted for some time. He won me over, as is his way, through subtlety, perseverence and full blown charm. He had my independent ways pegged from day one and he understood when to let me be and when not to. That’s him; he never gives up, nothing is too hard or too much trouble. He is exactly the same today.

Thirty plus years of marriage means there is a lot of I-told-you-so.

Our romance started slowly; we grew up together and created our own history. I believe that it is this shared history that binds us, the familiarity of the past that protects us through tough times and it is the long term camaraderie that provides the joy, the laughter and the drive to go forth and shape a successful life together.

Romance and enduring love are hard work. Happily ever after doesn’t always exist.

Timing must be the ying to the yang of romance.The chances of finding two people with a spark that ignites is not an everyday occurence. How often do you come across people that you feel a simpatico with, let alone a frisson?

I guess what I am saying is that a grand romance can take many paths. Passion may fire in a heartbeat Hollywood style, or it may also be a slow burn like ours. There is no handbook for falling in love, no wrongs and no rights and there are certainly no warnings for when it may happen. Every romance is unique, a one in a million.

Whether you celebrate on February 14th or not isn’t important. Valentine’s Day will come and go, the roses will fade and the corny sentiments written in every shop window will be replaced, but the gift of love, for it is a most precious gift, should be celebrated at any time and with any colour of the spectrum.


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In This Post:




Vicky a truly beautiful love story! Such was mine with my late husband and I do look forward to meeting another wondrous love one day!

Happy Valentine’s weekend!
The Arts by Karena

Helen Tilston

Hello Vicki,

Thank you for sharing your beautifully written personal story on your valentine.
Wishing you continued joy and love for eternity
Helen xxx


Vicki-what a lovely post and I couldn’t agree more with you. Love changes as the years go by and the trick, I believe, is to recognize and enjoy it’s many faces at each stage.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pamela in Portland

Stephanie Anderson

What a “touching” love story. In everything you do this love is radiated! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful personal story!

Our French Oasis

A beautiful story, thank you. Love for us is not about a day, it is about every day of the year, our 8 and 10 year old daughters on the other hand love Valentine’s Day – it’s pink hearts and roses all the way for them today!!!


I love stories about how people met :)
I met my husband the first month that I was living in New York City, after coming from Los Angeles. I met him in September, I married him in November and we were married 43 years .. until his sudden death last October, I was so so so lucky for 43 years.


What a beautiful story. Also a great lesson for young people like me, who are so close minded and still so unaware about true attraction and real love vs the so romanticized version of it.
Thank you for sharing this.


You are so lucky, Vicki! I’m 60 years old and nobody has ever been in love with me. I keep thinking that maybe it will happen someday, but I’m running out of hope.


Never ever lose hope, Denise. Love happens when you least expect it and in the most surprising ways… :)

Joan Z

Vicki, your love story sounds a lot like mine. We will be married 24 years this May and it feels like we married yesterday!

Leslie Nash

My own love story started with an instant attraction, love came slowly but surely. I love him more each year, and even tho I insist Valentine flowers are corney, I love it when he buys them for me!

Ann Joubert

Paris has always been a passion for me met the man of my dreams late in life and had the most blissful 10 years together and he was taken 2 years before we were to spend my 60th inParis. Red is my colour and your image of the lady in red alone was very poignant for me.still a dream to get there soon.


Loved this post. It will be 34 years in April forDavid and I, I think I am the luckiest girl as we stillaugh together.

Catherine Baudet

I am architect and have completed hundreds of ‘ alterations and additions’ and new houses.
I believe a good result is achieved through a collaborative process between the client and the designer. A well written brief is essential. ‘ talk’ is too loose- it must be written down so the designer can go back and check
A brief often changes through the process as ideas are tested. So update the brief regularly
The most difficult part for the client is knowing how much input they should have and when they should take the advice of the designer.
Communication is the key.
Clients need to ask WHY the designer is proposing something and listen to the answer and then make a decision. Design is not all about aesthetics, there are lots of decisions based on function, practicality, longevity etc. it is a balancing act.
I believe that a good interior is the result of this collaborative process . If both parties are reectful of each other and work together then the result will be life changing.

Pauline from Phillip Island

Dear Vicki,
What a beautiful story. All we need now is a photograph of your wedding day to complete the picture. I think, however, that you like us to use our imaginations for moments such as those. Even so, I’d love to see a picture of your special day. It must have been wonderful and I’m sure you looked beautiful. Everything you do has a touch of magic to it. Thank you for adding it to our lives.

sylvia faye

Tradition in marriage is all about love, perverservence, willing to love, and working hard at making it a success for one another. Met my husband at 19 and he was 20 and we were from very different countries and backgrounds. We were married 4 months after we met. We have 5 grown children and all have had successful marriages (all worked extremely hard in their marriage to make it work) except the youngest sons. He died last January at the age of 52. He was the only one who married at an older age…both he and his wife were 28. I am a believer in young marriage and both grow old together as young love is so different from enduring love as that is whem we understand one another best. This year, if God so wills, we will celebrate 63 years together.

Anita Rivera

Oh Vicki, I was so busy out and about with my Valentine that I totally missed your post.

But I am here, and I am taking in all the wisdom and truth here.

We celebrated our 35th year of meeting yesterday on Valentine’s Day. And so much of what you are sharing resonates so clearly with me. My husband says it was “un coup de foudre” for him, but for me? I too was TOO independent and at that age of what, 22, I had “given up on men” (hahahahahha). So I paid no attention to him until he invited me out on a day trip to one of his singing concerts. OK, fine. I thought of him as a nice guy, but then after the concert, he invited me to lunch. Then to dinner and a movie that night….hmmmmmm….something was happening.

Like you, it was and still is, a “slow burn” but of the best kind. Friendship, unity in the most intimate way beyond the physical, has taken place. It is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever had the opportunity to experience as a human being.

I believe that this notion of Valentine’s Day lasts all year long, all a life-time long.

Have a super Sunday my friend. Anita

Angela Muller

Lovely post, Vicki. The best part, for me, was that you allowed yourself to be slowly seduced, then surprised by love; that you didn’t fight it and continue searching for that “spark”. Often that “spark” fizzles upon better knowing; yet, your love was an evolution of time and discovery….the best kind. Happy Valentine’s Day!


Mine was the opposite Vicki. An instant attraction that led to me calling off my imminent wedding (to someone else). Three children and twenty five years of marriage later who knew that the hardest decision I ever made was also the best?


A beautifully written tribute to the inspiring V & D story that warms my heart. Moved enough to actually record a reply….
xxmaureen, sydney


Lovely story – so nice too that you had mutual friends who introduced you.
Husband and I met by chance when he kind of crashed a university fancy dress party (the party host and he were friends – and he’d asked him along – but he didn’t belong to the group the party was for). I was dressed as a naughty St Trinian’s girl, attending with my girlfriends. Apparently he was struck and pursued me all through the party, even driving me home at the end. There were a few ups and downs, mostly caused by him being awarded a scholarship to study overseas, but at his request I followed him to the UK and we were married 6 months later in Great St Mary’s, Cambridge. We’re still happily together many years and two beautiful grandchildren later. Best wishes, Pamela

Anne Woodyard

Reading this a week late, after just posting about our Valentine’s weekend here in Aix. Love your thoughts- very meaningful. And kudos on your decades of love!
43 years ago on Valentine’s weekend was when we got engaged…but there have been so many years of wonderful memories that overshadow the beginnings of our life together that I sometimes forget!


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