I always thought holidays were great. I was never one to get caught up in the fuss of projections pinned onto them (or everything, for that matter), I just enjoyed them. All of them. Shamelessly, innocently.
When I married a stoic, a gentle and handsome and intellectual stoic, I went into hiding. I have remained, more or less, in hiding. Anxiety is funny that way; no one told me to hide anything away, I just did.
But this year, and most of last year, things are different. I am unabashedly saying and doing what I want now, though gently – most of the time. I have finally caught up with myself, and I can do that now, and right here.
I don’t think Hallmark is screwing us over or making us be overt in our admiration of one another, about once a month. I don’t think my people love me less if they only proclaim it on a piece of paper that cost them $2.79. (Actually I have no idea what a card costs these days because I am cheap. I mean frugal. So I make my own.) And I don’t think anyone loves me less if they don’t celebrate these things overtly, about once a month.
Yeah, I do think the retail world goes a bit overboard, and feeds a nasty mechanism of poorly conscienced industry, but hey, I did not choose to go into retail, and I can’t stop it, and in the end, that’s not my cat. I don’t feed it, I don’t pet it. I just sort of look at it. And for some people all that just turns the whole thing into something unpalatable. I get it.
Today, my daughter and I went to after hours clinic and met the most sweet and gentle doctor, who’s been practicing medicine for 11 years and still, for real, cared about my daughter’s ear pain, and showed he was bummed out by it. (Love.) My husband is out back, fixing the clutch on his Big Truck, and is covered in dirt and grease and wearing work clothes and a hat backwards and he’s warming my heart just the same as he does most days. (Love.)
We had about fifty people at our house yesterday, to celebrate my son’s arrival at the big 4, and it was wild and amazing and my house was FILLED to the brim with love, laughter, babies nursing, kids running and playing and screaming, and parents just doing what parents do. Then, we went to ANOTHER birthday party, for another little guy we love. (So much.) My son is napping. Hard. My house is littered with puzzles and lacrosse sticks and legos and SO MUCH STUFF. (Love.)
And, it’s Valentine’s Day, and people everywhere are shuffled out into little camps. Amorous, Ambivalent, or maybe Sad and waiting it out; Partaking, Killing it, or Ignoring it. All of these are ok, and we need not shine a beam onto anyone in particular. There is plenty of space.
For us, it’s business as usual, with some lovely pink amoxicillin to enjoy on this day reserved for all things pink and red and otherwise V-Day cliche. Speaking of V…if you need a little bit of validation, I think you should know Valentine was a rebel, who took care of what needed taking care of, and he(?) lost his life for standing up for love, or so the story goes.
Read more here but first, just settle in and be where you are; no need to justify how you show love today, or any day. That is yours.