Monday, February 29, 2016

Valentines Day

Special thanks to my wonderful friend Tiffany Berland for this picture, and to her adorable daughter Eva for writing me this love note! I asked Eva to do this for me, and I think she did a wonderful job! Thanks, Tiff and Eva!

Valentines Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. I guess that makes me different from most guys. I'm a romantic. One of my favorite things to do has always been to shop for my wife. I'm not in a position to do that these days, really, but we still have a romantic dinner every year. We exchange cards and I get her flowers. She used to get me candy, but I don't think she stopped at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory this week. Maybe she'll surprise me. If not, I've had plenty of candy lately.

At least we're almost through the holiday candy season. Do you realize that for eight months of every year, one whole grocery isle is dedicated to holiday candy? It starts in September for Halloween. Then comes Christmas candy, then Valentines, then Easter. So it's candy season from September till April. It's no wonder we're so obese as a nation. But I digress.

When times were better, my wife and I also got each other gifts and went out to a fancy restaurant on Valentines Day. Those days are past, but that's OK. I hear the commercials for jewelry this time of year, but I've never been able to imagine giving diamonds as a Valentines gift. Unless you're proposing, of course.

We're having friends over for dinner and celebrating together tonight. Saturday night is way better for romantic dinners than Sunday.

I can hear the guys saying that it's a made up holiday, created by the Hallmark Corporation as a way to sell more greeting cards. That's not true. It actually goes back to Roman times, but for many years, I've written and produced song parodies for my radio clients about Valentines Day, and as a satirist, that was always the attitude I took in the lyrics. But I never really felt that way myself. Any excuse to have a romantic evening is cool with me.

One thing that couples often overlook is how cruel a holiday Valentines Day can be for singles. It's common around this time of year to hear people, especially guys, complain that they "have to" get something for their significant other. Do we not realize that most, if not all of our single friends would give anything to have someone that they "had to" get something for on Valentines day? There is no greater blessing or gift than simply having someone. If you do, you should be thankful, rather than complaining about having to buy a card or flowers.

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but this Valentines Day is different from all the ones that came before. When emotions run as high as they are for me right now, anything to do with love draws me like a magnet. Valentines Days become much more valuable when you think you may only have a few left.

Let's not forget that Valentines Day isn't just about romantic love. Kids give them to each other at school. Family members exchange valentines. And the holiday is actually named after a genuine Christian saint.

One thing I've been saying when people ask me how I'm doing is I say that I'm "living on love." The love that has been showered upon us from so many has sustained us this far, and we're counting on it sustaining us in the future. While my heart is still troubled, I can still feel the love that's surrounding me and supporting me from all of you. That's why I wish I could send each of you a valentine. Or maybe a love note: "I love you, do you love me? Check yes or no." But you've all already checked yes, and circled it with a big red crayon. I can't possibly thank you enough.

Just now, while I was proofreading, a dear lady from our former church called to ask how I was doing and tell me her prayer group are praying for me. That's What. Love. Is, to refer to a past post. That's checking Yes with a big red crayon.

So whether you're with someone tonight or not, happy Valentines Day! Will you be mine? You will, and you are.

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