What defines romance? This is “Sweetheart’s Week,” as they now call it, celebrated on the 14th of February. 

People sometimes feel blue because they don’t have a special person to share the day with, or cards to read, or candy in a red box. There is not talk of how Valentine’s Day came about. 

Spoiler alert, that story didn’t turn out well. St. Valentine married couples in a Christian way and the Romans didn’t like it. He married the jailer’s daughter to her beau—and off with his head. Before he died he left notes of encouragement signed, “Your Valentine.” Ta Da! Valentines.

I loved it as a kid, when amid four feet of snow, we’d send cards to everyone in our class. Spring must not be far away if Valentines were here. The florists love it. Mr. Hershey probably converted to honor Valentine. Conversation hearts? I still buy and eat them. Ah, the Valentine Days of youth.

But what, you might ask, if you had your prince charming riding a mighty steed, come to pick you up? OK, it was a ’65 Mustang, silver grey with a black top, but still a mighty steed. Boy could he move in that car. Shhh. Don’t tell the Edgewood judge. I hear he’s a tough guy. 

What if you had the flowers, candy, long walks on the beach, OK the dirt at Tingley beach? When you have been dating someone 53 years and married to them 46, it gets harder and harder to define romance. You’ve done dinner, jewelry, chick flicks—what else is left?

Don’t give up and don’t buy any of those five-foot teddy bears. They gather dust and your dogs and cats get jealous. Since we did not have time to watch nightly television, we decided to be current and we binge watched “Blue Bloods.” Bill and I both liked Tom Selleck. Win, win!

I made popcorn in the microwave oven and we cuddled on the couch. Well, it ran a little short on the romance front. After nine seasons we decided we would never, never move to New York City and we thought the Irish cops looked a lot like my cousins in Iowa. 

Next, there was the visit to the Albuquerque Museum. Leonardo Di Vinci and the Renaissance, “Love was in the air.” The Mona Lisa painting was the featured item of Leo’s career. We spent four hours trying to figure out why he painted three ladies on one canvass. What was the deal? Did he love them all or was he cheating on them and just kept adding paint when they came in the room? We strolled through the part where Leo cut people up and showed his skill at nerves and veins. Today those drawings are still part of modern medical lore like “Grey’s Anatomy.” If that won’t put a thrill in your heart, I don’t know romance. 

Bill and several other high school boys played with Leo’s toys, (It was permitted. The mothers, girlfriends and lady teachers waited patiently in the room with the religious paintings of the Madonna, not the singer.)

We came home exhausted from cramming all the knowledge of the Renaissance into our brains. We settled again on the coach and lo and behold, “Jeopardy” was just coming on the television. I got an answer, Bill got an answer. We both got an answer, “When was the Renaissance?” It was from the 14th through the 17th century! Yea, we win. We love “Jeopardy” too. Don’t judge! Bill likes Vanna White and I think Alex Trebek is kind of cute. 

Romance is not dead if you are with the one you love. Roaring Mouse, still looking for chocolate.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.