Thursday, February 14, 2008


This week I heard a young man who had written a romantic story interviewed on NPR. Toward the close of his conversation with the radio correspondent, he was asked, "How are you planning to celebrate Valentine's Day?"

His answer surprised the interviewer. He replied that he and his wife would not celebrate Valentine's Day, because they felt it was a commercial holiday. "It's one of the reasons I love her and wanted to marry her--because she felt the same way about it as I did."

We all know the origins, the story of St. Valentine, his willingness to marry young soldiers to their true loves against the orders of the army, and his subsequent arrest and imprisonment. We've recognized the hype from greeting card companies, florists, and chocolatiers. But in spite of all that, we carry on the traditions associated with this day.

I, for one, am for anything that helps us express our love to friends, family, spouses, anyone important in our lives. However, I do recognize the pitfalls and pressures associated with the day. Does the guy have to buy the perfect piece of jewelry or present red roses? Do we have to pick out the perfect card for each other? Is this the day to come up with the unique proposal scenario?

As my husband and I recently expressed to one another, if we don't celebrate our love for each other every day of the year, we might as well not observe Valentine's Day. But we try to keep our love fresh at every opportunity, so it's just another fun day in the love life.

For example, I came back to my husband's temporary housing at his out-of-town job after an all-day traipse with the real estate agent, trying to locate permanent quarters for him while he's working here. On the coffee table he had placed a bowl of conversation hearts, and on my closed laptop he had arranged some of the hearts in a message for me: Love you and miss you. Hug me and kiss me. Talk about melting my heart.

Love's a fruit of the Spirit. And isn't love the thing that's going to last, First Corinthians tells us, when all the other qualities burn up, dry up, blow away? Hey, commercial, schommercial, never turn down an extra chance to show someone you care about them.