We are about to embark upon Valentine’s Day, which on the Kerri Scale of Holiday Horrors ranks somewhere between New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day. There’s too much pressure to be having a good time. I’m not good under that kind of stress.
For any number of years, I spent the afternoon in line at an undergarment store with all the other pissed off wives in town who also forgot the calendar indicated tonight was some kind of big night. It’s not that we dislike romance. That’s fantastic. But passion on demand can be hard to muster.
Now, I’ve basically abandoned the whole thing. Charlie knows he has a pass. He’s pretty happy about it, actually. Of course, if he brings me chocolate, I won’t complain or anything. But that’s true any day of the year.
If we’re collectively going to celebrate a day dedicated to love, here’s what I want:
- I want to celebrate love in the language people actually speak. For most of us, it’s not flowers and helium balloons. (I can promise you, if you’re wondering about a floral arrangement in a mug with a teddy bear on the front…keep walking. Nobody speaks carnation.) A real expression of love is taking something off the to-do list: Clean out a closet. Detail the car. Do the grocery shopping. If you want to buy an actual gift, buy something that shows you’ve been listening: the new album by a favorite artist, a favorite flavor of ice cream, the shoes that seem impractical, but are SO fabulous.
- I want people who are not coupled up to stop being excluded on this day. I want widows to get visits from neighbors. I want young professionals to have sushi after work.
- I want children to give cards to every child in their class. I want them to learn the value of friendship and the strong bonds that can last a lifetime.
- I want to talk more about what it means to love your neighbor and less about how to land the perfect man or woman. I want people to volunteer at homeless shelters. I want animal rescue projects to get some much needed donations.
- I want people to write genuine, honest notes to the people in their lives who matter: friends, family, spouses, teachers, mentors…everyone. Send some love back to those who showed so much love to you.
I want a day dedicated to love to actually be about expressing love. No one has to do all of those things. But couldn’t we all do one or two?
And even if you don’t buy any of what I just wrote, trust me on the carnations.