Before you tell me that I have no soul because I dislike this holiday…
First of all, that’s not original. I’m a ginger and I get “no soul” jokes all of the time.
Second of all, I don’t dislike love, I just dislike what people, with help from the media, have turned February 14th into.
You’re probably thinking “She probably has never even had a real valentine” or “she’s just bitter.” But, that’s not the case, darling.
I have had a “real” valentine and quite frankly it’s over-rated. No bitterness about it.
Personally, I don’t like being told to express how I feel about someone; I like to do it when I want to. Forcing something never works. Ever.
In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare wrote “Love sought is good, but given unsought better.” I couldn’t agree more. Why wait for one day to show love, when you could be showing it all the time. Isn’t that was a relationship is loving someone and expressing love all the time, even in the little things?
The media has turned it into a day of shiny balloons, obnoxious bears, and less-than-quality chocolates. Every magazine, movie, and television show, points to some over-the-top shenanigan and someone always ends up extremely let down or upset. Too much pressure, I say. Too. much. pressure!
I remember in when I was in grade school, and Valentine’s day was so fun- we got to decorate our valentine holder and eat candy until we felt sick. But, even back then, we had to be PC and give a valentine to everyone. Even if we didn’t want to. I am a person who means what she says 99% of the time, so it was always hard for me to give Suzy Q or Little Johnny a valentine, if I didn’t particularly like them, or agree with the statement on the card.
Now I love gifts as much as the next girl, but quite frankly, I feel sorry for guys around this holiday. One of my friends Grace (obviously not her real name) was telling her brother how she kind of liked two different guys, but all of a sudden, they just disappeared. His wise response was, “I’d disappear too. It’s almost Valentine’s Day.” That’s just plain sad, but oh, so true.
Contrary to popular belief, I’m not high maintenance. Presents are nice, but I crave personal time and attention more so than a pair of expensive earrings. Not to say, I dislike presents or earrings for that matter…I just don’t want the other person to feel pressured. It makes me feel bad. (I do love a good boquet of tulips or grand sunflowers though.)
So, while I don’t like all of the hype of Valentine’s Day, I do like the basis of it. Love. As a Christian I base my definition of love on 1Corinthians 13:
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
The truth is, I actually like the true story of Valentine’s Day. Unconditional and selfless love is something that I try to exhibit.
Here’s proof that I do in fact believe in love, despite my feelings about today’s version of Valentine’s Day:
1) I love this picture. It was taken by Scott Schuman of the Sartorialist for Tiffany’s. There is a whole album of these.
2) There are many a love song that I enjoy, but I’ll just share a couple that are on my mind right now:
Your Song- Cameron Mitchell I love Elton John’s original, but I really love Cameron’s version. His voice is so good and I am attracted to the way he looks and dresses.
When I’m With You- JJ Heller Her voice, as well as her soul are so sweet.
You Are The Best Thing- Ray LaMontagne His raspy voice has a sugary-ness to it that I absolutely adore.
wow. that was really hard for me just to mention three.
You see, I’m a closet romantic…which brings me to my next point,
3) Only a few people know that I enjoy reading poetry. Normally it ends up being what I read before I go to sleep.
e.e. cummings is one of my favorites. His poem [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] is one of my favorite poems about love, and is also one of my favorite poems in general.
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywherei go you go,my dear;and whatever is doneby only me is your doing,my darling)i fearno fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i wantno world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meantand whatever a sun will always sing is you’here is the deepest secret nobody knows(here is the root of the root and the bud of the budand the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which growshigher than soul can hope or mind can hide)and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars aparti carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Last but not least...What’s Valentine’s Day without good dessert? These Cherry Chocolate cookies are to die for, and the perfect V-Day treat.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry “juice”
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
- Granulated sugar, for sprinkling the cookies
- 36 milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and slowly add the powdered sugar and salt.
4. Add the cherry juice and the almond extract until combined.
5. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the cherries.
7. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, and place the balls on a baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart.
8. Using your thumb, gently press each cookie in its center until the cookie is about 1/2-inch thick.
9. Sprinkle each cookie with a little granulated sugar.
10. Bake the cookies until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 14 minutes.
11. Once removed from the oven, immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie’s center.
12. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you want to celebrate the day of love, then go for it! If not, celebrate it like Liz Lemon does on 30 Rock…
Happy 1920 founding league of women voters day!