In a couple days, I, as well as just about every other able bodied man in the country will raise our blood pressure by 2-3x… There are times when we are under the microscope, and none so much as the holiday of the hearts… Valentine’s day. Here is what I anticipate:
- many men will vow to kill the one guy who “goes over the top”, getting his wife or girlfriend 3 dozen roses and chocolate and champagne, delivered to her work for all of the other women to see…
- guys will find hiding places so they don’t have to answer the question from women: “so what did you get your girl?”
- guys are going to feel totally unprepared, like walking into the study session for the final, only to find that you are walking into the final
- There will be some brave (a.k.a, stupid) souls that will “listen” to their women who say they don’t want anything, and will do nothing, only to find out later that nothing does not mean “nothing”.
Valentine’s day is tough for guys, cuz it is the epitome of proving yourself as worthy of being with a woman, but it is also kinda like being forced to kiss the one you love (the forced aspect causes the act to lose something in translation).
So, why do we do it? Why do we give in every year to the pain, the torture, the ridicule and the judgment that, as some would say, commercial greeting card companies created to take our money? Doing a history search on the “real St. Valentine” doesn’t help much, because there is as much fiction as there is fact surrounding the man (or men, as it were…). As a society, we go through similar arguments for just about everything there is to celebrate… “Christmas is too commercial”… “George didn’t chop down a cherry tree”… “Independence day did not refer to us”… the list goes on and on. And yet, in all of this, we miss the true spirit of the occasion. For Valentine’s day, it happens to be love.
When I was too young to even think about the fairer sex in amorous ways, my mom would get the small See’s candy hearts for me and my siblings for Valentine’s day. Of course I was happy, because it was chocolate (I’m a bit of a chocoholic 🙂 ) . But I was also happy, because it was yet another way that she showed me love. My mom took every opportunity to demonstrate the love that she had for all of her crazy kids, and that had, and still has an effect on me. Even when things got rough in the family, I never questioned the love that she had for us. That fact alone has led to some wonderful conversations between my mom and I, and provides a foundation for the conversations and expressions of love I have for my kids. Well, my kids, my best friend, and everyone else I encounter :-).
So we stress and fret and try to get the right gift, but in reality, the true gift is the one “behind the gift”. It is the love that inspired the chocolate, or the flowers, or the balloons, or the teddy bear… It is sitting with your loved one – whether your loved one is your soulmate or your superhero child – enjoying time together. It is true love…
So this year, guys, don’t celebrate Valentine’s day because you have to, and don’t give into the pressure to be like other guys… Just be yourself, and love because you have someone to love. Let your gift come from the heart, not because you expect anything in return, but because you truly love.
What if you don’t have “that special someone”? Don’t let that stop you from loving. There are people in your life that would welcome an expression of love – a hug, a smile, a nice conversation, a video chat, or even dinner and a movie. True love is much more than what we have been taught Valentine’s day is about, and any expression of love fills the heart just as much.
So, take the pressure off, guys… let your hearts guide you (and if that doesn’t help you, how about sitting down with your loved one and talking about what would make you both happy for the day 😉 ), and give from your heart of love. Enjoy Valentine’s Day, and every other day of love after that.