be my valentine

by Sharon Santoni

Be my Valentine ….. I first met my husband 39 years ago.   Wow! did I just say that?!   39 years that seem like a few minutes, pretty scary.

I was a young thing on the Cote d’Azur, 22  years old, carefree and ecstatic to be in the South of France as a student for a year.   Turns out the university did not go so well.  I was studying languages at university in London, and having just completed a year as a Solid Student in Germany, I arrived in Nice for a second year abroad.  The student system in France was very different to anything I had expected, and I was disappointed by the classes, so I wrote to my tutor back in London, promising I’d come back from France at the end of the year, that I’d speak great French, but please not to ask about the university curriculum because I wasn’t going anymore.  Curiously he replied with a simple “that’s fine, have fun”.   So weird!  Times have definitely changed!

Anyway, now I had no classes to go to, I was looking for other ways to keep me busy.  I found a job in town and the rest of the time I was free.  One evening, having drinks with a couple of friends I got chatting with a French boy.   He told me about a radio station  in Nice that he’d launched with some friends, and that he liked my accent, and would I come along to record some jingles for them.  Why would I refuse!

The next morning at 8.30am I cycled to the radio station on the old port of Nice.  I took a girlfriend with me for moral support, and we turned up to find not one French boy but five.  It appears the boy from the previous evening had told his friends about the cute British girls who were coming for a voice audition.    The morning was fun,  we recorded a couple of jingles and were asked if we wanted to host a daily radio show – obviously we said yes..  I swear, some things can only happen when you’re 21 years old.

Long story short ….. One of those five boys is sitting beside me, as I write these words,  right now.    Not love at first sight, but an encounter for sure.   A couple of weeks after that radio audition we were both at a house-party and accidentally collided.  An electric shock, literally.  From that point on, my year in Nice became a lot more fun and romantic and light headed and I never looked back.

The moral to this story?  There is none.   Unless it is follow your heart.   I personally attribute our nearly 40 years of happy marriage to his incredible patience.  I am blessed to have a loving husband, who I can count upon, who takes care of us all as a family … and what’s more who’s a great cook!

We all follow different life paths.   Sometimes we manage to create our luck, sometimes we get lucky and sometimes things don’t work out quite as we expected.   They say that money makes the world go around, but maybe love is a tad more important.




Babs February 14, 2020 - 8:22 pm

Please hurry up with part 3 and more!
Ps Loved your Valentine remembrance!

Angelette February 14, 2020 - 11:52 pm

What a beautiful story! I love Burgundy Bliss as well. Thank you for sharing.

Pamela February 14, 2020 - 8:35 pm

Thank You for sharing your story , my French connection did not turn out like yours but has held my interest and fascination with France to this day. ❤

Jeanne February 14, 2020 - 9:01 pm

Mine too!!

Sheri neel February 15, 2020 - 3:12 am

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story ☺️

Teddee Grace February 14, 2020 - 8:36 pm

So fun and romantic and isn’t it the truth that exciting and interesting things seem to happen when you’re in your 20s. Why is that? Were we more adventuresome then? I think so. We hadn’t learned what could go wrong!

Kelly February 14, 2020 - 8:55 pm

August will be 25 years of wedded bliss for me. As they say “Ain’t love grand!”

Sue M. February 14, 2020 - 10:17 pm

I love to hear how couples met…and yours is sweet! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sari Ojala February 14, 2020 - 9:00 pm

Perfect. Just perfect!!!
Br, Sari

SUZANNE DE PEE February 14, 2020 - 9:24 pm

Sharon, we need to see a picture of your husband! Please.

Darcy Kane February 15, 2020 - 7:31 pm

Loved your story! I personally don’t believe in luck as you put it but instead believe you are truly blessed with a wonderful life!

Debbie Courtney February 14, 2020 - 9:29 pm

Thank you for sharing, Sharon! Happy Valentines Day

MARLA PATTERSON February 14, 2020 - 9:35 pm

oh how precious!!!! love love love your love story! we are a 49 years since we met and 46 married! Lovely story!

Pat February 14, 2020 - 9:46 pm

Beautifully written love story

Reply February 14, 2020 - 10:34 pm

So sweet, Sharon

Susan February 14, 2020 - 10:41 pm

Beautiful,love it. Thanks for sharing!

Alice Genzlinger February 14, 2020 - 10:57 pm

My friends say I had a “ Harlequin romance “ that ended in wedding bliss. For a Southern girl that had never traveled , he showed me the world. He has been a blessing to me every day. I just try to keep up.

Kameela February 14, 2020 - 10:57 pm

Lovely love story. Congratulations.Mine is a nurse doctor love story and this year is our 45 th. I can honestly say love conquers all and makes the world go round

Colleen Taylor February 14, 2020 - 10:58 pm

I love this story Sharon. I can definitely attest that love is more important than money. As they say, it can’t buy happiness & I know that from my experience. Happy Valentines Day Sharon! X

Billie Moffitt February 14, 2020 - 10:59 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed your story. Happy Valentine’s Day❣️

Vicky from Athens February 15, 2020 - 1:59 pm

Thank you for sharing your love story. I loved getting a glimpse of you as a carefree and adventurous young girl.

Emm February 14, 2020 - 11:27 pm

What a lovely story! But what happened to your girlfriend, the one you took with you for moral support. Please tell us she had a happy-ever-after, too.

Brigitte February 14, 2020 - 11:28 pm

Beautiful memories.

Franki Parde February 15, 2020 - 12:34 am

Welcome to my world & Happily ever after!! We are blessed. franki

Mary Anne MacMorran February 15, 2020 - 2:01 am

I love to hear how love birds meet. Thanks for sharing the memory.

Phyllis in NC February 15, 2020 - 3:06 am

Beautiful story! I had an chance meeting with my husband in a city of 8 million people ( New York City). 27 years later I still get butterflies when I see him.

Vanessa February 15, 2020 - 3:44 am


Such sweet stories. So happy that things have gone so well for you. I lived in Munich when I was younger. With everything being so central I was able to see most of Europe and my girlfriend that I went to school with lived first in Paris and then in Aix en Provence. It made for some fun times. I love Paris …but then I love all of France. I am a chef and I specialize in French Cooking. I served part of my apprenticeship with Dallmayer in Munich. We catered to the carriage trade. It was an amazing time. French Cuisine is my forte and my love and I love your magazine and everything that you do.

Thank you so very much for sharing your creative talent.

Vanessa from Canada

Deborah McMillan February 15, 2020 - 3:48 am

I love to hear how people meet their true loves. Yes, it’s fun to be young, single and travelling overseas. It totally opens up so many opportunities and adventures. I can’t imagine how dull life could have been for me if I had stayed home and not traveled and lived overseas. The amazing people I have met, cultures I have experienced first hand and the wonderful stories I can share with my husband who I met through travelling.
Your husband sounds lovely.

Jan February 15, 2020 - 4:48 am

Someone asked if I had plans tonight for Valentine’s Day. After 48 yrs of married life, I said, no, everyday is Valentine’s Day. ❤️ We shared a lovely dinner and a bottle of wine at home. Thank you for your warm message.

Denise Duvall February 15, 2020 - 5:04 am

What a beautiful story! So happy for you both!

Susan February 15, 2020 - 5:09 am

My first love was not my true love or my best friend. But 36 years ago, across the hall at work, I met my one true love- the one who has been with me in sickness and in health, for better or for worse. It is far far more beautiful than anything that happened to me in my twenties…my love has a heart of gold and cherishes me above all others. Having been diagnosed with cancer, and having him stand by me through all of that—that is true love. I hope everyone gets to have what I have had with him…and wish all your readers a love filled Valentine’s Day not just today but all year.

holly boyle February 16, 2020 - 4:58 pm

Lovely ~

Amelia February 17, 2020 - 2:26 am

I love your love story! I left college to marry my love and have been together for 36 years. We were as poor as church mice in our early years and never dreamed of how far we’d get. Now we are traveling the world (we are Francophiles for sure!) whenever we get the chance and giggle about our good fortune in love and life. Happy Valentines Day!

Martha Vera February 17, 2020 - 3:42 pm

You have a very romantic story and, yes, I understand the electric shock. May every day be Valentine’s Day for you both!

Steven February 17, 2020 - 8:17 pm

Great story! My wife and I met in eight grade, quickly became friends, then “best” friends, but never dated (each other). After college (we attended schools in different states) she spent a year in London. I visited. She later ended up in Waco, Texas; I took a job in Dallas (about 80 miles north). At weekends we fell into the old comfortable patterns. After a couple of years she announced she was ready for a bigger commitment. I was not. She decided she needed to find out what else the world might have in store for her. No hard feelings. I wished her a sincere bonne chance. Two and a half years later I heard from her again. [we affectionately call the interim “The Schism”] She was engaged. Her fiance felt she had some unfinished business to set right before he would agree to set a date. We met on neutral ground (Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens). This coming August we will celebrate our 36th anniversary. We have two beautiful daughters who have also married their best friend, a four year old granddaughter who is a true delight, a ten week old granddaughter who is precious beyond words and another granddaughter who will be born later this month. We are richly blessed. I have known my wife 50 years. That’s hard to fathom – as you say the time has gone by so quickly. Sometimes the journey isn’t a straight path. The twists and turns add interest. Thanks for evoking some great memories!!

GiselleLaScalle April 19, 2022 - 7:23 pm

I hate Valentines. I was so often dumped on this day that I can no longer stand it. Sorry if I upset you but that is my opinion. It is like this even though it is sad.

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