Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My growing dislike of promoted love

With full knowledge that this may be misconstrued I have to say that I am growing to dislike holidays more with each passing one.  Not the essence of holidays, but the commercialized purchase push associated with them.  I cannot get over the fact that there is something wrong with a culture that ties the concept of love with things multiple times a year, constantly attempting to associate human value with purchase power. 

Here is what is resonating with me more and more:  Things mean nothing.  If my house burned down tomorrow (and my family got out safely) the only thing I would mourn would be photographs. (...and probably my poetry journals.)

15th Anniversary at the restaurant we ate at on our honeymoon.

People matter.  Memories matter.  Everyday moments matter. 

The hypocritical part?  I still went out and bought my girls and husband gifts.  It was not as much as previous though, and it is not that I do not want to have to give gifts, it is that I do not believe loving and giving should be confined to pre-printed dates on a calendar.  

When Barry sees, hears, or reads something he knows would interest me and he takes the time to share it by relating a story, or a passage from a book, or the way black-eyed susans leaned through a fence as if reaching out to greet him (Okay~ he would not say it quite like that.) that is an expression of love to me because he knows that the minute and the everyday are what fascinate me.  He knows that I look at the world with the open heart of a child and find beauty everywhere.  He knows me...that is what means so much.

It does not mean that if another person's love language is different than mine (quality time and physical touch) I think they are shallow or materialistic it is that I am growing to reject commercialized prompts.  I decorate for most holidays, major and some smaller.  (Seriously, St. Patrick's day is a favorite.) As things mean less and time means more I find myself gravitating toward the homemade, the handmade, the non-manufactured, and the thought out and unusual.  Perhaps that bleeds over from my preference for quality time, but it really is the thought that counts for me.  

As we sat together tonight on his all too short dinner break at a tiny Thai restaurant and handed each other our bought gifts I still enjoyed it.  I enjoyed the fact that our gifts were thoughtful, even though they probably would be misunderstood by the people around us.  

I bought him a book about interesting places to visit in the States.  I want to spend time with him doing things he enjoys.  He understood that it was not so much a book, but an invitation and a promise of, "I want to be with you."  I also wrote him a poem that expressed more than I could say in prose.

He bought me a small book of poetry, not because it was romantic (although it was) or because it was the thing to do on this day, but because it is my passion.  It was a love note and affirmation of what I do. 

Some day, hopefully many years from now when we have lived long and grown old together, our children will be sorting through our many books and find the inscriptions we penned today and will know us well enough to think they were romantic in their uniqueness.  

But even more so, I hope they find a random book inscribed with, "Because it was Tuesday and I found this small copy of Faulkner and I thought of you," and they will realize our love was so deep and plentiful that it was not bound to dates pre-printed on a calendar.