This is my ardent post-Valentine's Day defense of love for youFeb 15, 2023
I don’t know that I will ever love another man so that I want to wake up next to him every day. I’m not saying I’m not interested. As I’ve said before—if that man exists, send him my way, will you?
But I will say this: if he is out there, he’ll probably enjoy Valentine’s Day.
Or at least he’s figured out how to reclaim it as his own.
All day yesterday, I heard the denunciations and criticisms—I saw the eye rolls. “Bah!” was well represented. National Public Radio joined in with a piece highlighting Valentine’s Day’s “violent and murky beginnings”, complete with host Jauna Summer’s personal disclaimer, “Got to be honest here, I don't really observe this holiday. It's too cheesy. And I don't even really like chocolate.”
To me, this whole attitude seems like a powerful—and persuasive—collective defense mechanism. Okay, you don’t like chocolate, fine. And you’re irritated by the attempts at manipulation by the retail industry so that you’ll buy their stuff: totally legit.
But could it also be that your heart is a little broken? That you might need to protect it and say some version of, “This is too cheesy.”
I get it—I’m also not fond of manufactured insistence: We shall all now celebrate love.
But love itself? Come on! This is the stuff of life.
I’m up for celebrating love in all its varieties pretty much any day of the week. There are so many ways to love. Love yourself, love your lover, love your mother, love your creature.
Don’t let the naysayers take away your joy—or even your sorrow and heartbreak—over this fundamental way of being human. Feel it all: laugh and get your oxytocin up. Or grieve your loss and feel that, too.
Feeling is what makes you human—and being human is incredible. Don’t miss it by defending against it. Love is one of the best feelings around.
Nobody gets to define or take away your joy or whatever else about love: except you.
Go ahead, give in to the schmalz a little bit. Manufacturing and remembering and honoring your own joy about your own love? Well, that’s a great practice. Whatever day it is.
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