The Price of Love
Well Valentine’s Day has passed, taking with it all those frothy ads that make you feel like you’re relationship isn’t valid without 50 karats of sparkling adoration! Last night, as I waited in line at the grocery store, I couldn’t help but notice all the signs and, well, RED and PINKNESS blasting me from every nook and cranny of the store. Ads for bouquets of flowers, chocolates, cards, and all the usual accoutrements were springing from every shelf, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice on unsuspecting passersby. There was a huge display at every checkout for those derelicts of society (you know who you are), who wait until the last minute, or forget completely, to get something for their significant other.
As I drove home, an ad came on the radio for some jewelry store. I don’t recall the exact wording, but it was something to the effect of “Show her how much she means to you this Valentine’s Day with a ‘blah blah’ karat ‘blah’ hand picked just for her, from our exclusive collection”. And I got to thinking…….
When did we decide love has a price tag? Since when does the size, and extravagance of a gift dictate how much affection I should read into the gesture? When did my Honey seeing something, and thinking of me, cease to be sufficient?
Well, I for one, think we should take Valentine’s Day back. It’s something we ought to have done sooner, and should probably be done with most holidays (yes mass marketing, I’m talking to you, you players of Christmas music in October).
Our rebellion against the retail machine began when my husband and I, now get ready for this, stayed home for the evening! And the plot thickens, we cooked, and *gasp* he did not buy me a card or flowers. The stunned silence is palpable, but before you have an apoplexy, hear me out on what we DID do!
We barbecued steaks, and I made raviolis with marinara, asparagus with olive oil, garlic, and asiago cheese, béarnaise sauce for the steaks, and baked sourdough bread. Dinner was, if I do say so myself, fanfreakintastic! The crowning glory of the meal, was a German Chocolate Cake with chocolate chips, made by my charming person, from scratch, with love. It’s Austin’s favorite so I try to make it at least on Valentine’s Day!
And while I did not get anything brown, sparkly, or flowery, he DID buy me the little vacuum coffee maker I’ve been coveting for months. A random gift granted, but it will last MUCH longer than flowers, and now, every morning when I make my coffee, I think of him and smile.
When Austin asked me later, if I was disappointed that we didn’t do, and I didn’t receive, the traditional Valentine’s Day fare, I assured him I was perfectly delighted with our evening.
Here’s the thing; if you’re with the one you love, it doesn’t matter if you live under a bridge, you will be happy. The richness of your life doesn’t depend upon what you have or how far up the corporate ladder you climb, but how deeply you love, and are loved. So in the true spirit of Valentine’s Day (albeit belated) and bucking the system, forget the checkbook, shut off the T.V., slam the door on those dirty dishes, and spend some time with those who are truly important!