Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Old and Improved Valentine's Day Models

Why do all of the models that advertise love for Valentine's Day have to be so youthful? Well, I guess I know why, but if I was in the market for advertising love (and, I suppose there is a reason I majored in chemistry and not advertising), I would choose my models a little bit differently.

I would choose my models to look a whole lot older, maybe ninety. In fact, they would look a lot like Mr. and Mrs. George Loft, a couple that I knew from birth. They would look as tender and stately and lovely as George and Eleanor, but also as aged and weathered from real life as this endearing couple did. My models would just be finishing tea on their expansive back lawn and Eleanor would be knitting her gloves and booties for the babies as she always did and George would be adoringly sitting in his rocker, just watching Eleanor work. Over seventy years of marriage somehow made this couple experts in the whole work of finding true love that never fades.

My models would give young people hope that love doesn't die when you age, as so many cultural signs seem to express. My models would tell young people that a love-life can and will get better every year if emotion is not mistaken for the truly constraining and self-giving work that is really love.

There is no gift that us young people need more on Valentine's Day than hope. We need hope from those who have traveled down the pathway of marriage for years upon years and made it their first commitment to every day, week and year, make their love more sacrificial, more romantic, more tender and more special.

Too often the message that we young people are fed about love sounds a whole-lot less hopeful, "Enjoy love while it lasts."

My models for Valentine's Day, George and Eleanor, provide a different answer, "Enjoy love while it grows - better every day."