Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Funny Valentine

It’s funny how attached we get to ideas. Like the idea that on Valentine’s day we are supposed to acknowledge the people we love with grandiose gestures and semi-tasteless food. (Surf and turf special at Ryan’s anyone?) Instead of spending the whole year showing our dedication, we splash it all over on one day, and then forget about it. And those who don’t celebrate it, complain about it- but they aren’t any more loving any other time of the year either. It’s funny- ever since I can remember I have wanted only to spend a holiday with someone I loved- one special New Year’s Eve, one special Valentines-something... anything. And as each holiday approached I would be more and more anxious because I didn’t have someone to spend it with. I have never spent Valentine’s with someone I love. This year, far away from home, I forgot about Valentine’s day. Hence the lateness of this post.
[Ed. Note- you were lazy.]
 (Author’s note: I was trying to be ironic.)
[Ed. Note-see previous]
(Author’s note: Ok, yes, yes I was.)

Ahem, I forgot about Valentine’s day this year. I forgot, because for once, there was no media pressure to be with someone you love. There was no social pressure to not be alone. Valentine’s day is different around the world. Here in Japan, women give giri chocco or “obligation” chocolate to men- bosses, male friends, etc. If they actually like you, they may give “love” chocolate- homemade, as opposed to the store crap they gave to their office mates. (oops, I mean pre-made, non crap chocolate... oh forget it, it’s totally crap. ) The point is- it’s a gesture of appreciation. In a society where everyone, works to keep the community in harmony, it's expected that you give. So people do. (Note, by the way, I said women give men. Women get presents on White Day in return in Japan- so all those complaining about giving expensive gifts to women and getting nothing in return- stuff it. And any one who mentions BJ day is just tacky. [don’t know what BJ day is? –look it up, I just said it was tacky.]) So, people are expected to give, and they do. Is that such a bad idea? People are expected to show that they appreciate you and what you do for them- sounds good to me. But maybe we should seriously consider not bitching about Valentines and just making it a daily expectation that we will be kinder and more considerate to others. I know I would be willing to by a card and some flowers for the guy who opens doors for me, or gives me that taxi instead of stealing it, or just adds extra foam to my café latte. No one has to do it, but a little civility certainly makes the world more....civil. A nicer place to live and love in. Maybe a whole new line of greeting cards is just waiting to be sold.

“Thanks for not being an ass in the DMV line. I appreciated it.”

“Thanks for disciplining your kid in the grocery store,
and not letting her throw a tantrum on the floor.
Best Wishes.”

“Thanks for not being the Eeyore coworker
no one wants to hang out with
because you complain about everything.
You rock!”

“I just want to say.... You don’t suck.
Thanks for being you!”*

*Call me, Hallmark!

Ok, maybe not my best work. But the general principle is still a good one. Appreciate each other every day. Know that the someone special you’ve been hoping to spend that special day with is already here, and so is the day. Enjoy it. There’s nothing wrong with having chocolate for a special occasion- and every day is a special occasion. If you’re complaining about love, you’re not being loving. Shut your mouth and open your heart and things will change. Give somebody a little love every day- and not “obligation” love, but the real thing. And don’t forget-be sure to give some to yourself.

I forgot Valentine’s day this year, but I wasn’t forgotten. Thanks to everyone who sent me a little bit of love, when I wasn’t looking. I just want to say....

“You don’t suck.
In fact, you totally rock.
Thanks for being you!”*

*see, it could work!

Happy (post) V-day, everyone

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