Sunday is Valentine’s Day… the Feast day of Saint Valentine. This year will be a Covid Valentine’s Day, and I’m guessing most of us will not be celebrating the occasion as we would have in past years. Once again, the Coronavirus rules the day…
Traditionally, Valentine’s Day brings a huge boost to retailers worldwide. Sales on Valentine’s Day is #1 for florists, #2 for restaurants and greeting cards, and #3 for chocolates. I’m hoping that lovers everywhere will support these businesses again this year to help them limp along through the worst of economic times.
Valentine’s Day is the celebration of love and affection. Everyone’s idea of romance is different…possibly due to their personal experiences. With that in mind, I consulted Google to see what others have determined to be the greatest love stories of all time. What was evident in all the love stories I read about was both the passion and conflict. It was never simple, and often there wasn’t a happy, fairy tale ending.
Authors, songwriters, and screenwriters have been waxing poetic for centuries about love and romance. I was happy to see my all-time, favourite love story, “Pride and Prejudice”, by Jane Austen, ranked high on the list. Who doesn’t love Mr Darcy…especially when played by Colin Firth in the Masterpiece Theatre version? Understandably, high on the list was “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare. Both of these classics highlighted the challenges endured by the main characters.
Every time I hear the word, “bewitched“, I smile and think of the words Jane Austen wrote for Mr Darcy to declare his love for Elizabeth Bennet.
Throughout history, we’ve heard or read about great love stories. Although Napoleon divorced Josephine, he continued to write her beautiful love letters professing his undying love; King Edward VIII abdicated the throne for Wallis Simpson, Grace Kelly gave up Hollywood for her Prince…
Deemed by Vanity Fair (July 2010) as the “Romance of the Century”, there is no denying the passion between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Although they had met before, their relationship flourished in Rome on the set of “Cleopatra” (another tragic love story!). The affair was considered so scandalous (both Taylor and Burton were married to others) it prompted a comment from the Vatican condemning it! They had a tumultuous 10-year marriage, divorced, married again, only to divorce a year later. Elizabeth Taylor said she would have married Burton a third time! Throughout, there were lots of (big) diamonds! Their relationship’s intensity blurred that line between love/hate, and quite possibly it was as written in Vanity Fair’s cover story, “A Love Too Big to Last”. It’s said that Elizabeth Taylor loved Richard Buron until the day she died.
“I love Elizabeth to the point of idolatry”…Richard Burton
“When I saw him on the set of Cleopatra, I fell in love and have loved him ever since.”…Elizabeth Taylor
This will be the first year I will not wish my mom a happy Valentine’s Day. When I read about Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash’s love story, I couldn’t help but think of my mom. I don’t think there were many “groupies” in the 1950s, but if my mom would have had the means and wasn’t married with 3 children, it’s possible she would have followed Johnny Cash from one town to the next! He was the one, her celebrity crush! This next bit is for you mom…
Johnny Cash was one of the “bad” boys (the type young woman the world over seems to be attracted to) of country music. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, he travelled from one gig to the next with other performers…Elvis Presley was one of them. Presley introduced June Carter to Cash’s music and played it on jukeboxes for her. They met backstage (1956) at an Elvis Presley concert, and Johnny Cash was smitten at first sight, it took June Carter a bit longer. Cash told Carter he always wanted to meet her having listened to her sing with her sisters on the radio and she told him she felt like she already knew him (because of her conversations with Presley). They were both married at the time; however, sparks flew between them for years before they finally were married (1968). June said that falling in love with Johnny was like being in “a ring of fire” which was possibly the inspiration for the #1 song on the country charts she (along with Merle Kilgore) wrote, in 1963 and Cash performed. Cash credited Carter for getting him through his addiction to alcohol and drugs. Unlike Taylor and Burton, their story had a happier ending. They died within months of each other.
Many of you may already have or had your own love story and for others, possibly your story just hasn’t been written yet…
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone,