Valentine’s Day is fabulous; unless you’re single or married to Chris or Bobby Brown. Being poor can take a little off the shine too. But I’m not single and I really can’t consider myself poor, so I ventured out toward one of the local flower shops to pick up a little bit of admiration and awe for Holly.
This holiday outpouring of love and loose purse strings would have to be one of the best days of the year for those peddling fanciful weeds. At least that’s what I thought. While waiting on my flower choice to be packaged, a cashier commented to another customer, “Next year I’ll have to remember to stay retired.” It was only eleven in the morning.
This is something I’ve encountered, and often noticed, around Saint John. People are not happy. Yes, it’s winter – everything’s practically dead and even the emissions from the Irving pulp mill bellow thick and heavy, taking longer to rise into our atmosphere – and twenty below, but it’s a day of love and hearts bursting with happiness. And flowers are flying out of the shop doors while the coffers rise.
Still, I have rarely come across anyone happy to be working in this city. I know it’s not my view because people are noticeably less unhappy in places such as Halifax and St. Andrews. Especially St. Andrews – people almost appear to be drugged with some joy elixir visiting that town, but that’s another article. One of the least ways to promote your business and lay the seeds for a repeat customer is to share your bleak outlook to someone happily handing over their hard-earned money – especially when their heart is so full of light and love, at least before you squashed it.
For background noise last night we put the television on House Hunters International and were introduced to a couple that sold their Hawaii condo to buy a large house in Fiji. Holly and I looked at each other, knowingly thinking the same thing (which we do often), and commented a little incredulously that they felt the need to leave the horrible confines of the Aloha state for another tropical paradise while we focused on the mind-numbing freezer of our surroundings.
Is this what makes inhabitants here angry? Halifax and St. Andrews are slightly warmer than Saint John. I’m not sure if that’s the reason or not, but we’ve started pricing homes in the tropics, if only to give warmth to the imagination.