At the risk of being a buzzkill on this day of hearts and roses, I must admit that I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. For this I have my husband’s eternal gratitude as he can go about his business each February while ignoring the barrage of commercials telling him what an absolute spousal failure he will be if he does not buy me this exact diamond pendant or that specific dangly charm bracelet. No, there are no special dinner reservations or floral deliveries headed my way today, and I am all in favor of that.
Since I’m in a disclosure kind of mood I may as well admit that I do not like romantic comedies or romance novels either. I understand they can serve as escapist guilty pleasures, but I have to say for the most part they leave me feeling unfulfilled. I do not like the way they set men, and women for that matter, up to fall short in real life of the great romantic feats and gestures of the cinema.
By now I’ve probably convinced you that I should head up the local chapter of the new Love Haters Club. I promise you this is not the case. In reality I am in love with love. I just happen to be in love with the kind of love that happens, well, in reality.
I am not immune to the good feels that the occasional romantic gesture can produce. A few months back on our anniversary my husband posted an amazingly sweet and heartfelt tribute to me on his Facebook wall. It was out of character for him, and it left me with mysteriously leaky eyes. So, you see, I do understand and appreciate the value of these things.
It’s more that I appreciate the day-to-day unsung gestures of love. The ones that, for me, overshadow the grand ones meant for the world to see and acknowledge. The ones that happen without thought, without planning, and without the media declaring that they must.
I see signs of love everywhere I look. I find them in the fact that my husband, eighteen years and counting into our marriage, still comes around to open my car door every single time. I feel them when I burn my fingers on a hot cookie sheet due to worn thin pot holders only to be the recipient of new pot holders the next day. Yes, this shouts love to me in a way that no roses ever could.
I love the love that happens when people don’t know, or don’t care, that others are watching. The love in a mother’s instinctive grasp of her child’s hand as they cross a busy parking lot. The love of a boyfriend’s hand placed gently on his girlfriend’s back as they pass through a doorway. The love of a woman’s hand holding her husband’s in a reassuring clasp, he in the hospital bed and she in the chair beside it. Yes, the hand can convey love far more eloquently than a box of chocolates.
So while I may not be a fan of Cupid and his bag of arrows, I am a fan of the results that one of his well-placed shots can produce. I am in love with the love that grows and endures through the day in and day out routine of life. I am in love with the love that shines brightest when it is most needed to guide us out of the darkness. I am in love with the love that does not need to shout itself out, choosing instead to whisper steadily for eternity.
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day, and if so, how? Do you like romantic gestures? As always, I welcome and appreciate your thoughts and feedback. Cheers! Karen
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