Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Love Story Worthy of Valentine

It is easy to be a cynic when it comes to Valentine's Day. Yes, it is an obvious commercial holiday created to make money for stockholders of flower and card companies. Yes, we have conditioned ourselves as a society to see this as a cheesy holiday for young lovers.

And yes, there are many people out there who hate Valentine's Day for varying reasons, with some being more resourceful than others. From burning love (and tweety) in effigy to making sexual entries as the modus operandi, here are but a couple of the more inventive recent incarnations of the anti-Valentine's Day trend.

Then there are the stories that make you see love is not just a silly concept, but a universal feeling that we all have, which binds all cultures, backgrounds, and peoples. Such was the story of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, a couple who spent over five decades together before marriage, and never were able to tie the knot until 2008 because they were gay. I chronicled them right after that marriage, and Del has since passed, but the memory of that day and their love is something I have thought about more than once over the years.

That is the kind of life and story we should all be proud to know and want to live. What a pity it took them so long to realize that day. What a shame that we sometimes lose touch of what a silly Hallmark holiday can make us do when thinking about stories and people like Del and Phyllis.

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