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.


  1. i LOVE holidays! hate all the 'stuff' ( i'm not gonna go out and buy things people don't need just because it's a holiday, or wait until a holiday to give the perfect gift, unless an occasion is nearby :D ). But I love holidays - themed dinners, decorations, fun traditions :D 'especially' days, noel piper calls them. Like passover, for example. We should always remember the Lord's miracles and salvation(both in exodus and the gospels), but be honest, as I am going through daily routines of laundry, diapers, meals, planning tomorrows meals - i am not remembering. So I have the 'especially' days when I especially remember and celebrate :D So holidays are important :)
    which I know is not the opposite of what you said at all, the complement maybe?
    Now that Luke is trying to take me out monthly, though, v-day is not one of the more important holidays to me (for the first 3 years, that was one of our few dates, so it was big!). I did get a letter from him though :D which is something he can do whenever but just doesn't think to do that often, i guess. So hurrah for especially d ays :D our celebrations today included an awesome dinner (if i do say so myself!) of steaks (burgers for boys) and a fancy chocolate dessert, which i need to post the recipe for. and luke bought elmo balloons for the boys :D and he got me some flowers (a springy bouquet not red roses b/c i finally got up the guts to tell him as nicely as possible that red roses are elegant and traditional, but not my preferred flower as a general rule). and a little box of chocolates into which he snuck my letter :D ... so i gotta say, i got a good haul this year ;)

  2. I think yes, complement because of, "when I especially REMEMBER and celebrate." It is also probably a progression of time like you mentioned. We know each other better and we have special time together more often so there is not the same type of pressure on these days. I had a similar flower experience, but mine was the request for living flowers that I could plant. What can I say, we are just not stereotypical girls. ;)

  3. Miss you Shawna! :) Loved this post. ~angelia