Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Ahh, Valentine's Day.

When I was young, Valentine's Day meant two hours away from school work to exchange paper valentines and feast on cupcakes with red icing that left our entire class looking like blood hungry vampires. 

In high school I went on a first date on Valentine's Day. The shy boy from across the county brought me a dozen roses. Poor kid - he was so obligated. 

In college, Valentine's Day was more of a girls' night (as though we didn't have enough) than a sappy date night. Flowers from out west sat on my vanity while with my girlfriends I toasted another February 14 farewell. 
Really, we could have found anything to toast to that night....passing Chemistry, our senior year, getting that job interview...

February 14, 2007

Last year on February 14 I spent the day emailing back and forth with a guy a met in Denver (his name is Cody) and my girlfriends, analyzing every flower picture posted, taken with a stapler in the background. 
Every predicted proposal. 
Every mention of "hubby", "man of my dreams" and...."love."

But really, what's love got to do with it?

Definition of love from old Mr. Webster:


 noun \ˈləv\

Definition of LOVE

(1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child> (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt bylovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests 


And this is how a few of my Facebook friends define love:
  • Just love the busy season! Keeps me sane!! LOL
  • Michelle's dress: I LOVE IT!
  • Got your invite to Caleb's party today - I love them :)
  • Luv my baby boy> No mater wat! (this accompanied a photo of a steer)
  • Love getting RSVPs for our wedding!!! Hope I get a bunch more soon so I don't have to stalk people lol! 
All of the sudden, we love (or worse, luv) every one and everything. We love songs and television shows and new cars and clothes. We are so guilty of saturating our language with "love" that it holds little value anymore. 

Don't get me started The Bachelor. I tuned in for an hour this week (guilty) and heard the "L" word something like 6 times. You love him? You LOVE him?! You have never had to wash his dried up toothpaste off the side of the sink. You haven't experienced him drunk with his best friends. You've never even met his father to have some sort of gauge as to what you may be getting into. 

It is so, so special to tell someone you love them for the first time. What a moment to remember. But how exciting can telling them you love them be, if you've already used the word three times earlier in the evening?
6:30: PM: That's my favorite shirt you own; I love it. 
7:15 PM: I love their bleu cheese dressing. 
8:40 PM: I loved her when she played in Everybody Loves Raymond. 
10:30 PM: Oh, and I love you. 

I remember playing in my Grandma Bowman's yard when I was pretty young. During our playing and gallivanting around, one of us kids had promised another something and then broke the contract. The disappointed one did what any kid would: reported the lack of follow through to Momma. I remember we all got scolded that Sunday afternoon. Momma told us that a promise was a very serious thing, and none of us, not Laura, Luke or Lindsay, were mature enough to make a promise to anyone else. At that point in time, we simply didn't understand the commitment that a  promise entailed. 

Then and there, a promise became a pretty serious thing. 

And love is, too.

Sure, there are different types of love, but I consider all of them powerful. Right now, I'm committing to not throw the "L" word around. I used to be pretty good at watching my usage. In fact, I recall one summer night when I told a guy I was, "completely you". Good way to promptly end a date. I just wasn't there yet. 

I believe a thing as powerful as love deserves a correct context.

"I just love Valentine's candy. It's so good," remarked Cody one day a couple weeks ago as he chomped away on a package of sweet tarts. 
"You use that love word a lot," I responded, smiling at him. 
A few second passed. Cody was chewing. 
"Linds, please just know that the love I have for sweet tarts is a totally different kind of love that I have for you. Just, trust me. Two different loves."

That brief exchange inspired this entry. 
And, I rest my case.  


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