Yes, I know, this James Bond title is wildly overused, but it’s so appropriate for this post …

When we came to Russia in 1998, Valentine’s Day was beginning to be known, but was celebrated only by a few, and only peripherally. For Russians the big day of love and flowers has traditionally been March 8, International Women’s Day. That one is still huge, but now St. Valentine’s Day is rapidly catching up.

This is evidenced in part by what turned up in my apartment building this year. Some anonymous Cupid took the trouble to find or compose loving messages, print them, cut out hearts on plain paper, and paste them to every door. I don’t know if this was limited to my section of the building, but if it was, that means 36 hearts with 36 messages (I didn’t find any duplicates). If it spread to the other section, the number would be double.

Here are a few samples of what the happy residents found:




This one says, “Love is warming up his side of the bed when he has to come home late … Happy St. Valentine’s Day! Cherish one another!”


Or take this one: “Love is to stick a note to the mirror that says, ‘You’re my king!’ Happy St. Valentine’s Day! Treasure one another!”


Here we have, “Love is that, when someone loves you, he says your name in his own special way. Your name sits easy on his tongue. Happy Day of All Lovers!”


One final one: “Love is when my mom makes coffee for dad and takes a sip before she gives him the cup, to make sure it tastes good. Take care of one another!”

Someone went to a lot of trouble to remind the residents that love is more than a feeling, that it reveals itself in all kinds of small acts. A good reminder for us all, yes?