Valentine’s Day -- that one day of the year on which love is inescapable. Though often associated with fattening chocolates and cheesy oversized stuffed bears, when done right, V-Day can be quite memorable. What would make for the most unforgettable Valentine’s Day in your book?
Maybe you’d go to a candlelit dinner with your significant other at a posh restaurant downtown, or you’d just rather stay at home with a bottle of wine and a romantic movie -- "The Notebook" anyone? Whichever route you choose to take, it goes without saying that real-life romance makes this day worthwhile. The following couples are living proof.
Taesha Benson has ruined Valentine's Day for the rest of humanity by giving her boyfriend a literal piece of her: A kidney that could potentially save his life. How can anyone top that? Travis Spire-Sweet has been battling chronic kidney problems his whole life and has been on a donor list for over a year. The odds of finding a matching kidney are about 1 in 30,000. As love and biology would have it, Benson was a match. The transplant was performed last week, and if everything goes well, the couple will have the best story at every dinner party they ever attend from now until eternity. Love: It's kidney-shaped.
Warning! Kleenex needed! Sue Johnson, a Houston native, was recently widowed after a 46-year marriage to her husband, John. Each Valentine’s Day, he would send her a bouquet of flowers with a card containing the words, “My love for you grows.” Four children and 46 bouquets later, he passed away. Now here’s the tear jerker. On her first Valentine’s Day alone, 10 months after her husband's death, Johnson received a fresh bouquet of flowers addressed to her from her deceased husband. When she called the florist to ask if the order was a mistake, she said, “No ma’am, it’s not a mistake. Before he passed away, your husband prepaid for many years and asked us to guarantee that you’d continue getting bouquets every Valentine’s Day.”
A man in Battle Ground, Washington, made a portrait of his wife out of 2,862 wine corks. You may think the result would be something of a craft fair nightmare, but Nathan Rebman varied the depths and colors of the cork to produce a stunning, almost photographic work of art. Not romantic enough for you? He titled it "2,862 Ways That I Love Her." There. Hopefully not all of those ways correspond to a whole bottle of wine though, because that is a LOT of wine. Sources say his wife is thrilled with the present (would you be?).
Forget getting down on one knee, how about putting your love on parade? During a Mardi Gras parade in Mobile, Alabama, a masked Mystics of Time member proposed to his fiancé, Corinne Bogar, with family, friends, spectators and his fellow revelers cheering him on. “It was a huge surprise; I had no earthly idea,” Bogar told AL.com. This was no rushed effort, though. Bogar's fiancé had to get the permission of city officials and his krewe to pop the question in this way. Now that’s love!
Well, this was bound to happen. At some point, all of the sepia-toned blurry pictures of cappuccinos were going to give way to a few love stories. Take Robin and Matt, two Instagram users who started following each other in 2011 and have since fallen head over heels in <3 <3 <3. Robin lives in Toronto and Matt in California, and their mutual enjoyment of each other's photographic lives led to chats. Chats turned into constant conversations, which turned into a large community of Instagram users supporting their budding romance. When they finally met IRL, they of course Instagrammed the moment, and Robin wrote the following caption:
"This blurry photo is, my friends, one of my most cherished things. After three months of non-stop Skyping and letter mailing and telephoning and texting and emailing and daydreaming, I was meeting @matthewjay for the first time...So I did what I do. I snapped a photo. And then we fell in love."
D'aww. We don't even feel like being snarky about Instagram anymore. So sweet.
This video. This video is love. This couple is about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Glad suffers from Alzheimer's, and needs constant care from her husband Bill. But as they show, that is what marriage is all about -- in sickness and in health.
What's your real-life love story?