If you believe all the hype, February is the month in which relationships are made, dreams are swiftly fulfilled and one effortlessly ascends to lofty heights on the pinions of love.
It’s glorious. But for just a moment, ignore the clever coquetry, avoid the dozen-rose diversions and stare the cold hard truth right in its flirty face. This time of year is fraught with peril. It may actually be the equivalent of relationship cyanide. Such was possibly the case for Saint Valentine (see future article on the tragic death of Saint Valentine), and it may be the case for you or someone you know; even the famous are not immune.
In reality, the period starting in December and continuing through mid-February has been informally styled by some as “National Breakup Season.”
Several divorce attorneys have indicated that there is definitely a spike in divorce cases around Valentine’s Day. Anecdotally, many noteworthy and prototypical couples called it quits during this time of year, including Seal and Heidi Klum; Katy Perry and Russell Brand and Khole Kardashian and Lamar Odom. I mean, it might as well be your neighbors! And if these relationships didn’t make it, what hope is left for the rest of us—the common people? Very little—there is very little hope left at all.
But soft, what light breaketh yonder? If we turn to fiction, will we find those ethereal relationships that, upon the turning of the final page, live on through epochs and times and seasons?
Alas, a brief relationship inventory of the following fictional paramours reveals a bleak house full to overflowing with poisonings, betrayals, miscommunications, fire swamps, love triangles, confusion, curses and not a few vampires. With no solace to be found fictionally, what conclusion remains? Is love nothing but a ruse, a hoax, the lofty imaginings of a demonic Screwtape bent on our misery and destruction?
Perhaps the lesson is that in real life, and in the fictional realms, every relationship in any season may face obstacles of all types—natural, supernatural, due to others, or oneself, with success or failure being defined by your response to those challenges. The following couples all faced these vicissitudes of life in the name of love with a variety of “ever-afters,” including “happily,” “not-so-happily” and, spoiler alert, “vampirely.” Test your abilities to match the fictional couple with their respective novels and may the odds be ever in your favor. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Directions: match the letter to the description
1. ______ The Phantom of the Opera
2. ______ Romeo & Juliet
3. ______ Harry Potter
4. ______ Dracula
5. ______ Pride & Prejudice
6. ______ Gone With the Wind
7. ______ Les Miserables
8. ______ The Hunger Games
9. ______ Twilight
10. ______ The Fault in Our Stars
11. ______ The Princess Bride
12. ______ The Count of Monte Cristo
13. ______ Anna Karenina
14. ______ Jane Eyre
a. Romeo and Juliet
b. Cosette and Marius
c. Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley
d. Constantine Dmitrich Levin and Ekaterina
Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya (Kitty)
e. Westley and Buttercup
f. Jonathan Harker and Mina Murray
g. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark (or Gale)
h. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy
i. Bella and Edward (or Jacob)
j. Jane and Edward
k. Augustus and Hazel
l. Edmond Dantes and Mercedes Inguanada
m. Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler
n. Christine and Raoul