Larry Steiner and Holly Bruce-Steiner in Port Moody on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. (Holly Bruce-Steiner/Contributed)

‘Larry loves you’: 3,000 strangers text B.C. woman for 30th anniversary gift

Larry Steiner didn’t expect his insanely romantic and creative idea would go viral – but it did

It’s traditional to commemorate 30 years of marriage with pearls, but instead Larry Steiner decided to lean on complete strangers to help bring his wife, Holly Bruce-Steiner, an anniversary she won’t soon forget.

Earlier this week, Larry took to the streets of Coquitlam posting signs asking “you, a complete stranger” to text his wife on Friday with the words: “Larry Loves You.”

ALSO READ: Feeling stressed? New study says sniffing your partner’s shirt might help

“Altogether, my wife Holly has put up with me for 40 years! (How she has done that is still a mystery!)” the sign read.

Larry, who described himself as old school, asked people to help spread the word about his special surprise by taking a photo of his poster and sharing it online.

He expected a few strangers to help him out, maybe 40 people, but the power of social media took hold and the next day, Holly had received more than 3,000 text messages.

“They’re still coming through saying, ‘Happy belated, Larry loves you a day more now,’ and just the most creative texts,” she told Black Press Media.

Of course, Holly was a bit confused at first when she began receiving the mystery texts.

“I didn’t have a clue. I woke up on our anniversary and a text came through from Montreal and I thought ‘That’s weird,’” she said. “And then a dozen more came through – two dozen – and I asked Larry what was going on!

“He said to go look out at my car and I went out to my car and he had put a flyer on it, so that’s when it all made sense to me and then it just sort of broke loose after that.”

ALSO READ: Pokemon themed wedding comes with bride and groom Pikachu mascot

From across Canada to as far as India, Holly’s phone was buzzing nearly every second through the day. And when people couldn’t get through – presumably because of so many incoming messages – they appeared to have dug up the website of her business, Lighten Up! Jewels, and emailed her.

“I had phone calls from Tokyo and Kyoto,” she said. “People were sending messages from Mexico and Dubai, all over the United States, Alaska and the Yukon.”

Holly had a surprise of her own

Holly and Larry first met in 1979, while Holly was a waitress at a restaurant in the Lower Mainland, and she was instantly smitten.

“I thought, ‘Oh that’s a cute guy,’ and then I saw him a year later and I had just gotten promoted to hostess of the dining room so I threw a party for the staff and turns out he was friends with some of the regulars I’d invited, and it was just love at first sight,” she explained.

The Steiners at the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver in August 2015. (Holly Bruce-Steiner/Contributed)

They later eloped in Marina del Rey, California in Aug. 2, 1989.

Since then, Holly said Larry always tries to make moments special for her – but it appears romantic gestures are a strong commonality between the pair.

For her gift to him, Holly planned a special night at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody. But due to the forecast, she was worried the weather would hamper her surprise on their actual anniversary, so she organized it for the Thursday prior instead.

ALSO READ: Signs of doomed marriages according to wedding photographers

“I dry cleaned his outfit and put it out for him and said I’d meet him at such-and-such a time,” she said. “When he came strolling up I was wearing my original wedding dress I’d gotten married in and a bouquet of flowers – and I even was wearing the leather shoes he had re-dyed for me.”

While the pair have what many would call a “shout it from the rooftops” one-of-a-kind love, Holly said her and Larry have still faced the same kinds of trials and tribulations so many other couples face through decades together.

Holly and Larry Steiner in Coquitlam in December 2017. (Holly Bruce-Steiner/Contributed)

When asked what one piece of advice she’d give on matters of the heart, her answer was simple: accept the differences, appreciate one another and be honest.

“Everyone shows their love in different ways, and I can’t expect my partner to meet all my needs. It’s about putting your oxygen mask on first and then helping someone else, and I don’t mean that in a selfish way but a self-full way,” she said.

“And of course being grateful for what the other person brings to the relationship. I guess that would be unconditional love.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

On the Lawn lawn bowling tournament raises over $28,000 for Kelowna-based charity

On the Lawn has raised over $100,000 for Elevation Outdoors in the past five years

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

Kelowna mothers to share grief, spread awareness for Overdose Day

Moms Stop the Harm is hosting an event for International Overdose Awareness Day in Kerry Park

Latino-American rock ‘n’ roll band The Mavericks coming to Kelowna

Kelowna is the only B.C. stop on the band’s worldwide tour

UBC Okanagan Heat score 10 goals in pre-season double-header

Two exhibition wins in the U.S. to start the year for the mens Heat squad

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pregnant teachers fight to change WorkSafeBC compensation rules

Agency does not recognize risk to unborn babies when mother catches illness from work

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

EDITORIAL: The best or the least worst

Negative messaging abandons the quest for the best and instead asks voters to choose the least worst

Most Read