I heard a lot of harrumphy noise out there on the internets this week, about the crass commercialism of Valentine's Day: how it is a "Hallmark Holiday," how silly it is to have a day to celebrate love when its something we should do every day.
Ahem. I take issue. Internets, I TAKE ISSUE!
Since when have we spent enough time telling the people around us that we love them? Whether or not there was a Red Hot Lover in your life this Valentines Day, it is a very poor life indeed when you look around and find no one who needs to know you love them.
The smartypants answer is that the problem lies with the limitation of the English word, love. The ancient Greeks, of course, had four words for love (heck - any Greek scholars out there to let me know if they still use all four?): agápe, éros, philía, and storgē. Without boring you excessively on their meanings, these words cover all the different ways we love one another - as friends, as family, as community, and yes, with passion. (Rawr.)
I'm certainly not trying to convince you that loving the way the grocery guy bagged your bananas is the same as having a wildly romantic date in Paris. All I'm saying is that this horribly commercial, crass and over-sentimentalized holiday does have its redemption, and the redemption is in the discovery that love, actually, is all around us. (Why is it I'm hearing Hugh Grant's voice? What? Oh....)
You get what I'm saying. Go, get on the phone, or that crazy Skype thing, or even right there on your Gmail account, and let someone know you love 'em. Maybe even make a run down to your supermarket and tell that kid you like his way with bananas.
As for me, I spent my Heart Day with my peeps: chocolate boxes at our breakfast plates, cards for each other, and heart-shaped cinnamon toast. I kissed them, I told them I loved them, and I reminded myself that I need to keep it up, every day of the year. (Just click right here, ladies and gentlemen, to get photographic evidence of our luurve. )