Family life

3 great love stories

Relationship columnist Liza Finlay shares sweet tales from our readers

By Liza Finlay
3 great love stories

Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Lancelot and Guinevere — the annals of history are full of legendary love stories. But what most of us don’t realize is that equally enthralling tales of love walk amongst us.
We usually deal with “issues” in this column, but in honour of Valentine’s Day, I’m turning this post over to you. Here are some of your legendary love stories…
(And by the way, you probably have a love story of your own to share. Post yours in the comment section below.)
Phyllis and Oscar
The moment Oscar Rao saw Phyllis Walker he was smitten. He watched her from across the dance hall until finally plucking up the nerve to ask her for a dance. By the end of the song he was in love and he asked Phyllis for her number. “But you hardly know me!” she exclaimed, and flatly refused to proffer up her phone number. Oscar was distraught, so she told him, “If you’re serious, you’ll find me.” And with that she waltzed away.
Now Walker is a fairly common name, but Oscar was not to be put off. He called every Walker in the Toronto phone book until he found Phyllis. They were married 3 months later. That was 65 years ago.
 Ellie and Chris
Working in the same office, Ellie and Chris had developed a collegial relationship based on mutual respect. They were each in long-term relationships (though they each found those relationships lacking in excitement). Still, Ellie and Chris never stepped beyond the bounds of friendship. Until they set sail on a fateful trip.
“We had just broken up with our respective partners,” remembers Ellie. “And we’d been working pretty closely together on a project.” So she wasn’t surprised when Chris invited her to go sailing with him and an acquaintance.
“We packed a bucket of oysters and a boat-load of champagne and set off,” says Ellie. A few hours into their trip a huge storm hit, with six-foot swells, lightning and torrential rain. Instead of heading to harbour, the captain kept circling the craft in the middle of the lake.
“It was then that we realized the captain was piss drunk,” says Ellie. With the situation critical, Chris took matters into his own hands. “He clocked the captain in the head, knocked him out, tossed him down below, took control of the vessel and steered us to safety.”
Ellie fell instantly in love and the two were engaged eight weeks later.
Vanessa and Kier
Kier and Vanessa had lived together for four years. When Kier decided to propose he stressed over how to do it. He worried that he needed to create a “big moment.” Should he go for the jumbo-tron, sky-writing, a TV appearance? “The thing is,” says Vanessa, “after four years together, we knew exactly the people we were and the kind of life we wanted together — and none of it could be captured by a blimp.”
In the end, Kier proposed over pancakes in bed after a too-late night with friends. “And that captures the spirit of our friendship, our fun and our quiet and consistent love for one another better than anything I could ever have imagined.”
Now it’s your turn. Got a story to share? Post it here or email it Liza at

Looking for a way to celebrate the ones you love? Check out our Valentine's Day guide for delicious recipes and gift, card and craft ideas.

This article was originally published on Feb 04, 2012

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