14 February 2011

What to do on Valentine's Day

Love, the concept of a million terrible songs, and quite a few great ones; the basis of myriads of dreadful novels by writer’s too embarrassed to use their own names, and thousands of movies showing people finding one another against remarkable odds. But what is love, really? Is it the scientific explanation that certain body chemistries’ compliment one another, causing a mutual exchange of pheromones? Or is it two souls separated somewhere in the reaches of time and space, who come to this planet to finally join together in the physical world? Or is it just being lucky enough to find someone patient enough to deal with our own bullshit, while not bringing too much of their own so that we can simply not walk alone in this world?

Too many questions, not enough answers. Finding love is sometimes the greatest challenge we could ever face, and yet for some of us it comes without effort, seemingly over and over again; while for others, it is as strange a face to them as any alien a billion light years away. And what better than to create a holiday for the sake of reminding everyone to love that special person in your life a little deeper that day, all the while rubbing it into the faces of the masses of the single men and women of this world, with a prettily decorated hearts and flowers in every shop you find.

Valentine’s Day! The date loathed by people single and married, loved only by those newly in love or looking for an excuse to get angry at their partner for forgetting a holiday created for sheer marketing alone. It’s amazing the emphasis put on one day of the year where you are supposed to love your partner more than any other, and be more romantic than the rest of the year. That is, of course, assuming you did not miss your anniversary, their birthdays or any other time that was chosen to be a “special day” to remember. And that is why, as much in love as I am with my husband, as much as I love any excuse to pamper and spoil him, I hate this day!

For me and Daniel, we are truly in love. It was not the mysterious moment where we both looked deep into one another’s eyes, or the seeming magic that told us we were destined to be with one another; for those moments are of fairy tales and delusions of lust. No, there was no sparking moment that we realized the depth of our love; it took years to create an actual relationship where patience and acceptance were able to take hold. For only relating to one another through years of commitment, patience and acceptance, can two people create the bond of true love. This is where such miracles can take place, such as allowing that little nose-picking session of theirs to become endearing, rather than nauseating.

The biggest problem is not that Valentine’s Day forces you to step up your game once a year, but that it makes you feel as though you have permission to stop trying as of the 15th. That you can shower your love with roses and chocolate, kisses and passion, but the next morning, it’s back to life as usual and you are both that smelly other person that has somehow invaded the other’s life. Why don’t we remember how fortunate we are to have that someone special in our lives other than the day(s) of the year that makes it about being forced to go that extra mile or spending money we may not have?

If you are like me, fortunate enough to have that special someone to share your life with, and if you want to do something truly wonderful for them, then instead of spending an hour at Target looking for that perfect card, or searching for roses that have had their prices inflated like gasoline before an apocalypse; sit down write a list of 365 simple things you can do for the one you love, one for each day of the year to come. If you want to give a real gift of love, then find a way to make sure you show your special someone just how much you really do love them every day. Remind them how beautiful they are; go out and buy 100 generic cards and every day, write something nice and leave it somewhere that they will find. If you want to really make this holiday something special, then don’t give in to all the marketing and give crap; give a year of love…. Or better yet, give a lifetime of it. Consider something that reminds you both why you are happy to share your lives with each other; because even if they don’t always deserve it, the good always outweighs the bad.

And if your single, not in love or not wanting to be, then dare yourself to go out in the world and spread some other type of love. Buy some blankets for the poor, buy little candies and give them to random people on the street you see that look sad and unloved that day. You may not have romance this day, but you can share love with a stranger and do something that will last for you, and each person you touch, for days to come.

You can certainly give into all the hype. If you’re in love, you know it already, even if sometimes you need a reminder. But if you want to show how much you love someone, don’t wait until a holiday or anniversary; remind them every time you see them, because if you don’t tell them today, sooner or later, we all run out of tomorrows.

Today is Valentine’s Day, it is the day that I will go home and remind Daniel how much I love him, and how worthless my life would be without him. He feels the same for me, and we remind one another constantly; that is the truth of love in each of those moments that take place every day. We don’t need a holiday to remind us we love one another, but any excuse to be gushy is a good one. But make of it what you will. Don’t spend money you don’t have, actions speak louder than dollars. Spread love to the one you adore, and those around you… but don’t wait for this day, we should all be spreading love of some kind every day to all those around us, including the occasional stranger.

Point of the conversation: Happy Valentine's Day or, in other words, Happy Monday.

- Shaun Taylor

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment! Please 'follow" us by clicking on the "follow" link to the left of the site page. Glad you are reading.