Love is in the air

Feb. 11, 2022
by Andrew Meuleners

Cue Barry White, breath in all the overpriced roses and candy, it’s almost Valentine’s Day. Today I want to celebrate love. Love of course comes in all different types of forms. It shows up at odd times, messes with your head, creates warm fuzzy feelings, and in general is a pretty good thing. Love comes from all types of sources: your spouse, children, other family, and friends.

 When I was younger, even in the public school we called Valentine’s Day, St. Valentine’s Day. The month of February has long been a time to celebrate romance. Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world, not just in the US.

The legend of St. Valentine's is thousands of years old. There is debate about who the real St. Valentine was.

 There is one that is my favorite. It goes like this. According to the History Channel, that St.Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

 I have been lucky in life to have been surrounded by love. I realize that not everyone is as lucky as I have been.

 In school I witnessed several kids I knew, even friends of mine, that did not have a great family life. I could never wrap my head around it. I had great parents, not perfect parents but parents that loved me and took care of me.

 I couldn’t understand how other people had parents, that just seemed not to care about them, or treated them pretty horribly. It makes me sad, more so now that I have kids. It's hard to not say something to someone when you see them mistreating their kids in public, or if my kids come home and say something about how someone is being treated at home.

 I have also been lucky in the spouse department. My wife is an amazing person. I am not writing this because she is my wife and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It may score me some points but in the end this is the absolute truth.

I met my wife when I needed her the most. She was a grounding force for me when I needed it the most. I had prior girlfriends but when I met Tiffany, I just can’t explain it, something just hit different.

 In fact when I met Tiffany I was trying to get together with another girl. We met through mutual friends. One of my best friends, Adam, was dating one of Tiffany’s best friends, Marsha. It was Adam’s senior year and he was preparing for his senior show for his clay class.

Tiffany had just broken up with some guy, and Marsha asked her to come down for the preparation.

Tiffany was majoring in education and when she spoke about it,it made me see people in her major completely different.

 She spoke with such passion about wanting to be a teacher. I used to make fun of early education majors, primarily because I thought all they did was teach finger painting and other easy stuff. The way she talked about how she could influence another generation, got to me. So yeah, I was hooked.

It wasn’t until a few weeks later when she came back for Adam’s senior show that we connected.

After a long night that involved drinking, bowling, dancing on tables and questionable statements out of my mouth, I asked her for her number and to my complete shock, she gave it to me. I didn’t call her back until about three days later. My friend Marsha basically threatened me, I was still embarrassed about my actions but I called her, we talked for three hours and the rest is history.

We got married June 22, 2002. I love her more now than I did then. Our relationship has had its ups and downs, but we have grown as a couple. We are fierce competitors and we fiercely defend each other. Our marriage is stronger because we have changed but still hold each other to high expectations.

I think St. Valentine was right, whoever he was. I think that young men and women should find those people that they passionately love, get married and make more people that will passionately love other people.

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