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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trail Shoppers Drug Mart offers virtual doctor appointments

Most Shoppers locations in B.C. will offer online appts by Aug. 4

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Two search and rescue calls involving children end with happy outcomes

The incidents took place in Trail and Salmo area on July 5 and 6

Province releases Columbia River Treaty public feedback report

Reservoir levels, fair compensation for impacted communities, among many issues raised

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read