It was 1970-something and it was Valentine’s Day. My would be Valentine presented me with a sweet card and a bag of cherry sour candies. I ate the candies and cherished the card – right up until the afternoon that we had a fight. Then I ran to my bedroom, removed the card from its safekeeping spot beneath my mattress, ripped it in half, and threw it in the trash basket. Later that evening when we made up I returned to the trash basket, retrieved the card, stapled it back together, and placed it back under my mattress.
Ah, Valentine’s Day brings with it such pressure. The cards, the commercials, the drive to have romantic encounters on this one day of the year have clouded the truth. Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, but the commercialism of the holiday is all about being in love, not loving.
There is a line in the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie Sleepless in Seattle that I adore (and one of the few movie lines I can quote.) Annie’s boss and friend, Becky (Rosie O’Donnell) says to Annie (Meg Ryan), “The problem is you don’t want to be in love, you want to be in love in a movie.” It’s like that line was written in response to the marketing campaigns that flood us in the weeks leading up to the Big Day. They are more about being in love than loving.
There is a difference you know. Being in love is fun. It’s about first dates and first kisses. It brings butterflies in the stomach and sweaty palms. It can be fleeting and fickle. And, even in the best relationships it often comes and goes.
Love is hard. It’s about accepting people with all their warts. It’s about being there during the tough times and the sad times. It takes work. Love lives on from day to day despite the rough spots.
The romance of being in love fades into love. There are still times of being in love, but the day to day is about the work. Love is hard, but it’s worth it.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t stick around for the work. It showers its glitter and then goes into hiding for the next year. We all have to live through the year. We have to keep on loving and keep on caring.
This Valentine’s Day I wish for you love. And don’t forget to show your love; not just today, but tomorrow and the next day and on through the year.
This Valentine rose was found at Safeway. It was so cute in its lady bug planter that I couldn’t resist. So, I showed myself love on this Valentine’s Day and brought this little guy home.