One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving. – Paulo Coelho
It’s been a few years since I toted out a post for Hallintine’s Day, or is it Valenmark’s Day. I can never remember. Back when I was one of the single folks I extoled the virtuless affair that is the typical Valentines day. Now that I am in a long term committed relationship I continue to disdain this dysfunctional holiday.
The expression of love should not need an occasion and yet for all too many couples their daily lives rarely reflect the true expression of love which is what inherently drives such a fraudulent holiday such as today to be successful. The expectation that one day a year a lover will dolt upon his(her) mate a shower of gifts expressing his(her) undying gratitude is just stupid and leaves me concerned with these kinds of questions:
What is such a muck doing the other 364 days of the year?
Is the significant other insignificant on non-holiday days?
What other Pavlovian responses can be elicited by preconceived corporate bell ringing?
So, if I understand the story correct, the quixotic lover takes a year’s worth of possible expression, packs them all into one day and hopes the fireworks are enough to distract and awe. It’s like binge eating for the emotions. There’s no way that’s a healthy expression of love.
If I sound cynical it is because I am – although for perhaps different reasons this time around.
There are so few aspects of the modern history of Valentines Day that aren’t saturated in mass-produced anonymity it is disgraceful to those of us who place personal value on the one we love. I don’t require the 1797 edition of The Young Man’s Valentine Writer to express a truly sentimental verse to the one I love nor would I invest in Esther Howland’s 1847 attempt at the first mass-produced valentines so there is no way that a faceless, profit-driven and probably not environmentally or employee friendly corporation is going to shove it’s wares on my lover and I.
In that, I’m fortunate enough to have found someone equally as skeptical about the worth of the most flagitious of holidays. We require not the pre-packaged notion of love as wrapped in lacy pink and red ribbon because we leave expressions of our unrelenting gratitude for one another nearly daily. It is having found this constant reminder of what the expression of love should feel like that I am eternally thankful I am not required to be subjected to the scrutiny of how expensive, or flashy, or hip my holiday offering might be.
I can simply inquire on any given day “who loves you?” and know in return the person to whom I am posing the question understands completely how deep that love indeed exists without greeting cards or flowers or chocolates or dinners or jewelery presented on a pre-fixed day. It isn’t that I don’t hand write letters or cook dinners or buy thoughtful little somethings, but I do so when the appropriate moments in our life together create unique opportunities for it and not prompted by social expectations of grand gestures.
It is nice to know that I am not the only one in a relationship that thinks the entire element of the day is designed to perpetuate everything that is wrong in the modern (romantic) relationship. It is a symptom to society’s bigger problems with inter-personally communication, expectation setting and relationship development that we allow the fallacy of Valentines Day pomp to exist in the first place.
A day is not needed to express love. Only a person open to expressing love is required.
Thankfully, I am blessed with such a person who so openly and regularly expresses her emotions and desires and her gratitude for sharing life with me. I feel vice versa as well that I am blessed to have someone to which I can express those same emotions and desires and gratitude to for sharing too. It is indeed a rare treasure to be in possession of to have found the kind of equal footing we strive for in the expression of our love and I’m grateful we do so outside the confines of the cliche (even if I really, really like quoting cliches – hey they get a giggle and laughter is an important ingredient to love)