Do you want to shoot me now or later?
February 14th is the day for that annual ritual where sweethearts acknowledge one another with gifts of love. All month merchandisers of anything remotely connected to romance have positioned themselves to take advantage of the institution we call Sweetheart’s Pressure Day—I mean Valentine’s Day.
I’ll admit it—I have problems with the connection between romance and commercialism. “What did you get for Valentine’s Day?” filtered through the semantic translator often pops out as “How much money did your honey spend on a payoff—I mean a gift—and is it more than my honey spent?”
It’s not that I am wildly against giving material gifts to show affection. My complaint stems from love transformed into a dollar value in a competitive buying spree. “You mean he didn’t spend half a month’s salary on a gift? Please accept my pity!”
The down side of materialistic Valentine’s gift-giving, of course, is that sweethearts who do not receive shiny new objects often feel underloved and unappreciated. True love may be priceless but keeping up with the Joneses costs money.
THE NEW VALENTINE’S DAY
I would like to see Valentine’s Day celebrate true love, not true commerce. Let’s get back to basics and express meaning from the heart. Let’s celebrate love by presenting gifts of feelings — Express Yourself Day! Here are some possibilities:
• Take me on a walk in the woods or along the beach, even if it’s raining. Let’s get back to the love of nature.
• Gaze at me with your full, TV-iPhone-iPad-turned-off attention. Focus the love you feel in your eyes and blast me across the room with its power.
• Share one of your deepest secret desires with me. Let me know what’s stirring within the labyrinth of your soul.
• Listen to me. Deeply listen without judging—or panicking! Discover who I really am on the inside.
• Let’s stroll down Memory Lane and recount our stories of how we fell in love. Let’s remember and celebrate what is working right for us.
• Render some art for me. Splatter some colors onto a canvas and show me what your love feels like. Write me a love letter. Bake me something sweet (like water for chocolate). Make me exotic coupons.
• Let’s tune out the rest of the world and pamper each other with a day of candlelight, magical scents, back rubs, hot soaks, and kind words.
• Kiss me as if we had just one kiss left.
Best yet, pick and choose from all of the above.
(See more here. It’s about Christmas presence but the same idea!)