Visiting an antique mall in Adamstown recently, I was seriously checking out the merits of one old pewter plate to another when I heard the shop's owner ask a middle age gentleman if he had found anything he absolutely could not live without.

He looked up at a nearby stairway where a woman was coming down the steps.

"Just her," he said.

The owner of the shop and I both said at the same time, "Ahhhhhhhhh."

Neither the shop-owner nor I could leave it at that.

As the lady approached, I said, "He's a keeper."

She said, "I know. He's the sweetest man. I'm very lucky."

The shop-owner asked her if they were married and she said, "Yes. For two years."

Oh. Newlyweds. Comments like that are usually from those who are still in the early throes of love. Right?

"But we've known each other a long time," she added.

Ah hah. The plot thickened.

"We dated in high school and then for a little time after graduation. We kind of grew apart and we went our separate ways," she continued the story.

They both had gone on and married different people and had children.

She separated from her husband, was living with her mother and just had surgery. He showed up one day with a card and flowers and they talked for a while. Then he walked out of her life again.

He later divorced his wife.

They both went on to other relationships.

But it was as if something was missing in both their lives and searching for that elusive something.

One day she was outside talking with her mother. He drove by, saw her, turned around, pulled up next to her and said, "Are you single?"

She said, "Yes."

"So am I. I think we should talk."

They did. They married shortly after that, completing a circle that had begun years ago. Both felt they found that missing link.

While this whole conversation was going on, he was looking over a vintage sign he wanted to buy. He had been staying out of the conversation because I think he was somewhat embarrassed by the attention their story was getting.

"He treats me like a queen," she said as she looked at him with love.

He quietly added, "She's the best thing that's ever happened to me."

Ahhhhhh. What a lovely Valentine story that would make, I thought. So, I wanted to share that with you this week.

***

Perusing the Internet for some interesting Valentine stories, I came across this little gem.

This year marks the 8th Annual Valentine's Day Infidelity Awareness Campaign initiated by Ruth Houston, a New York-based infidelity expert. She is the founder of www.InfidelityAdvice.com [1], the author of "Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs," and publishes the Infidelity News and Views blog.

Now Valentine's Day is not the day I would associate with infidelity, but according to Ruth, it is the time of year when infidelity reaches a peak. She says, "Cheating men and women will be getting together with their secret lovers to either give or receive Valentine's Day gifts during this 3-day window of time, making this the ideal time to catch a cheating mate." She says it is the busiest time of the year, no, not for florists and candy shops, but for private investigators trying to catch the cheating mate ... well ... cheating.

Doesn't that just warm the cockles of your heart?

***

February 14 is set aside as St. Valentine's Day. It started out around 500 A.D. to commemorate various martyrs named Valentine. It wasn't until around the Middle Ages that the day became associated with romantic love, expressed by the presentation of flowers and candy or sweets. In the 19th century, handwritten Valentines became popular which gave way to mass-produced Valentine cards.

Do you remember in school decorating a large cardboard box, filling out Valentine cards for everybody in your class, putting them in the box and then having them "delivered?" The trick was to make sure you didn't send a mushy one to the kids you really didn't "love" in case they misunderstood.

***

A lot of men really don't like Valentine's Day. Harry says it's just another way to sucker people out of their hard-earned money and if a guy doesn't shell out for flowers or candy or a card, he's a schmuck.

Yeah well, put those sentiments on a card and see how far that'll get you, Big Fella.

I'm as guilty as the next gal in wanting the whole romantic package. I want the flowers, candy and card.

What? You made reservations for dinner for two instead?

Card Schmard.

Flowers? Dead in a couple of days.

Romance? Highly overated.

Not having to cook dinner? Spells V-A-L-E-N-T-I-N-E to me!