I have come to realize that I can be quite a downer. I bag on everything and everyone. From the people who try too hard to the people that just don't try. I mean of course I pick on the obvious, the entertainment and outfits at the Grammys, (by the way, awesome job Katy Perry), the lifestyles and choices of the rich and famous, right down to the more simple people that wear jingle bell holiday sweaters (think Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones Diary).
I don't cut any slack to the people that decorate their homes according to the monthly holiday, four leaf clovers on St. Patrick's Day, little American flags adorning their drinks and embellishing their gardens on Fourth of July, people who in my jaded and biased opinion are living on the edge of corny or uncool.* Is that it? Am I just too cool to participate ~ is this why I've never belonged to Book Club, Bunko groups, Ladies Nights? Is this why, at the innocent and tender age of around 9, I was asked to leave my Blue Bird troop because I was just too cool to participate in reindeer games?
Today it is Valentine's Day. Another day I love to bash, criticize Hallmark along with the chocolate and floral industries for pressuring us all into feeling we have to do something special, again, for that "special" someone. But for the first time in, I believe ever, I am having a few hunger pangs. And no, they are not for a box of See's Candy, maybe a piece or two, but rather I believe, oh I hate to say this, so I'll whisper it, love. There is an empty space inside that is starting to rumble, to make a lot of noise. This is the first time in a long time that I don't have a special someone. Oh, of course I have lots of loves - my daughter, family, dear friends. But no one this year to buy the funny romantic valentine for, signed "love you forever", in red no less. No one to bring home a chocolate mousse heart shaped cake. No one to say, "I love you so much" and to hear them say it back to me. I always thought of it as a commercialized day that I really didn't want to participate in. Wow ~ just writing about this subject is feeling very mushy and uncool!
But this really isn't about the day, it is about what the day represents. You can always buy the Valentine's Day cards for your friends, your children, your sister and brother-in-law (thanks Stevie :) but we all know the truth about this day. It was intended for lovers. This day, that I have always let pass without a care, just another day, all of a sudden is carrying a bit more weight, just like I am in the past few months (thanks Pammy ;) ~ it feels like I am missing out on something, outside looking in. Like so many other things in life, including life itself, we take it for granted and assume it will always be there. We assume we will have our jobs, our homes, our marriages, our children, our friends. And when your assumptions are challenged and you are proven to be wrong, it takes awhile to slither out from behind your rock, accept defeat, rise up and wave your white nondescript flag (no stars and stripes on this one).
I guess that what I am feeling today is what I've known all along, and as corny as it sounds, and as much as I'd like to believe otherwise, Love is the answer. Love is a many splendored thing. Love makes the world go round, yes, yes, we hear you, stop, this could go on and on and on. But I think it must be true. When the Beatles said "Love is all you need", that was naive, even John Lennon said, "You can say I'm a dreamer." Yes, you need love but you need a lot more. I mean, love fades really fast when you can't pay the electric bill! The thing I've come to recognize is that the "more" means very little without the love. Oh hell, I guess I am not so cool after all.
A love of mine once described me as having "a hard shell with a soft center". I think I am experiencing my own personal global warming, a slow melting of my icy exterior. Not that I see myself joining a Ladies group anytime soon or donning a snowman sweater, but this coming Christmas I just might be wearing one in holiday colors, a deep Cabernet shade of red or a dark forest green and adding to it just the coolest amount of sparkle.
*Virginia - you and Colin Firth are the only two people in my world that can get away with these things and still be the epitome of "cool" ~