Nearly 400 Years and Counting... Celebrating The Maplewood's Couples
What happened to the old fashioned Valentine’s Day? No longer is it a “box of chocolates” occasion for today’s couples in love. It has become a lavish competition, like everything else nowadays. Who can provide the most incredible gift to that special person? People go all out.
The Maplewood’s celebration, comparatively, was as modest affair. The afternoon gathering at Danny’s drew our couples and a number of well-wishers. “Fancy” was not our theme this year. We offered chocolate sampler platters, prepared lovingly by me, for our honored guests and heart-shaped cookies for others. Any drink Danny’s could offer was available.
There was no entertainment scheduled. We didn’t need it. The room was electric with conversation and laughter. Family members really helped raise the ambience. They always do. Our couples were swapping stories while others listened in or started their own conversations. I poured drinks, watched and smiled.
The time did arrive to recognize our wonderfully devoted couples. I’d done a little research and math beforehand. After telling a joke about a single person celebrating Valentine’s Day by running to the bank to deposit the cash he or she saved, I revealed my “findings". Elsie and Harold F tied Bob and Mary Y, posting 66 years of holy matrimony! Most incredibly, our couples have been married for a grand total of 398 years - much longer than our country has existed! That floored me and the audience too.
I finished my presentation and the conversation picked up again, as if I’d never interrupted it. Reflectively, I wondered “how do they do it?” I’m no prude or nostalgia buff, yet I admire their values and determination to stick together in the face of any challenge or setback. Today, that spirit has wilted as 50% of marriages end in divorce.
Yesterday’s celebration was a beautiful example of true love in action. Our couples don’t save this affection just for Valentine’s Day, they practice it 365 days a year. They’ve learned much in their nearly 400 years of married experience! Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.
Director of Recreation