Every Year. February Fourteenth. (Ouch!)

Posted on February 14, 2013


By Lauriate Roly

I like St. Valentine’s Day. It’s a great idea, but it still always gives me horrible shivers.

Wallet-emptyWhen I was young, I had to quit school and go to work. The places I worked always paid their employees twice a month… on the fifteenth and on the last day of the month. I was earning the most minimal salary a young guy could expect, and by the fifteenth, I was completely broke. Unfortunately Valentine’s Day was the fourteenth and I would go through sheer agony knowing that I just didn’t have the money to buy my loved one even a simple gift, like candy or flowers; and in those days, everybody was in the same boat, so there was no question that anyone could afford to spring me a few dollars even for one day, though they were aware, and knew full-well that I would have been able to make good on the loan the next day, it being “payday-the-fifteenth.”

Thankfully I was kind of handy in sculpting and a pretty good painter. It came naturally. The family were all artisans. So using my natural God-given talents, I managed to come up with a reasonable and presentable gift that at least was a genuine indication of my fervent love for my sweetheart.

That was a long time ago. I don’t have the same money problems that plagued me then, and I have absolutely no difficulty now producing a fine present for my – still the same – sweetheart. She loves the boxes of candies and the bouquets of flowers I give her but they don’t last like the art gifts I made specially for her with my own young hands, and which she treasured dearly. She still has these gifts which adorn our home and by this time are considered and treated like very special chefs-d’ouvre; at least, by her.

I must say though, that even after all these years, I still get that awful empty drawn down feeling every year on St. Valentine’s Day, remembering those very early times.

The feeling lingers enough to discourage any thoughts I might have to celebrate the day in any kind of elaborate way;  but, just to have her here, so I can say that she is still my Valentine, is celebration enough.

I couldn’t ask for more, and that dispels the gloomy mood that automatically takes over my thinking every St. Valentine’s Day.

This Valentine’s Day, we’re enjoying TV, and a box of Laura Secord’s delicious “Gelées aux fruits”… Happy Valentine’s Day.

Born in Montreal, Lauriate is bilingual; his mother a Geordie from Newcastle on Tyne, his father a French Canadian Quebecer. Lauriate has traveled widely and has lived in Europe. His involvements are primarily of a creative nature focused on Music, Graphic and Literary Arts in the communications fields of Advertising and phases of the Entertainment business through television and film production.