As you know, it's Valentines Day. And this is a blog I actually wrote a while back, with only some slight modifications.
For the Valentine Grinches, Scrooges and Mr. Potters, you probably don't want to read any more. This is going to get kind of mushy. You've been warned.
Once upon a time, I was pretty sure I had a handle on what love was. Truth is, I think I was one of those who was in love with the idea of being in love.
I'd seen the movies and read the books, and thought love was pretty cool. Love lifts us up where we belong. Love is like Oxygen. All you need is love.
I was ready to find my Meg Ryan and live happily ever after, where our biggest problems would be arguing about which movie we were going to see (and I'd let her win almost all the time, because Tom Hanks would want it that way).
I remember once doing this bit on one of the show's I produced, where we had people give us popular slogans and commercial jingles that could be a motto for their lives. Mine was "Walk-Ins Welcome". I used to say that I was just looking for someone who knew me and loved me anyway.
As time marched on, I came to learn that I was really setting the bar very low. It's not so good, having someone that loves you in spite of who you are. They can make all kinds of excuses to themselves, but sooner or later, they like you less and less as those other things about you that they don't like, well, they seem to have a way of magnifying themselves. And then you find out that that's a pretty sorry excuse for love.
I don't know why it is that we can't learn these kinds of things about love early on. I know it's hard to explain, especially to anyone who hasn't been there. Maybe like so many other things, you need to have the experience of what love isn't to really appreciate it when you find the real thing.
That might sound like so much hyperbole, but I think it's true. It's much easier to appreciate the poetry of a gentle rain after you've lived through a thunderstorm or two.
I've always been a fan of love, and a fan of Valentines Day. I like the idea that there's a particular day set aside to celebrate something that I think is pretty important.
I know there's an ongoing argument, about how we should tell people that we love them all the time, rather than just on some "Hallmark Holiday". There is truth to that. And I try really hard to let the important people in my life know that they ARE the important people in my life, and that I love them very much. And I try to do that often.
But on Valentines Day, I like to let the most important person in my life know that I am absolutely ga-ga over her. She's all the cliches. The wind beneath my wings. The light of my life. She had me at hello. The Rose to my Jack (except we both lived).
I'm pretty sure she already knows all of this. I don't wait for February 14 to tell her. But I do like to make sure she does know on Valentines Day. And not because I give her jewelry or roses or a gift card for a pedicure, either.
I think she knows for the same reason that I know that she loves me. It's a million different things, some big, some infinitesimal. Mostly though, it's because I love her for who she is. And she loves me for who I am. No charades. No pretenses. No exceptions.
I wish it hadn't taken me so many years to figure out that what I really was looking for, what I think a lot of us have been looking for, is someone who knows us and loves us BECAUSE of who we are. And not in spite of it.
As we get older and more set in our ways, it becomes easy to think of love and romance as two separate things. But they don't need to be mutually exclusive.
And that's one of the things I really love about Valentines Day.
On February 14, we can all get mushy. It's not just expected; it's encouraged. And I enjoy reveling in it.
I also think it's a nice annual reminder about what's really important. Amazing how quickly we can get lost in the day-to-day stuff and lose sight of that. A hug, a caress, a kiss, those can make such a difference, and too many times, we get too busy to remember that.
It doesn't mean we love each other any less. It doesn't mean that your love isn't important, or AS important, any more. But too many years without a Valentine's Day can make it harder to remember what really matters.
Lisa, I'm pretty sure you already know this, but just in case you forgot...I love you. With all my heart, and all my soul, and all that I am. You are the best friend, lover, partner, the best everything, that I've ever had. And I am a very lucky man.
We don't have one particular tune that is "our song", but Elton John's "Your Song" is pretty close. After all, all the songs are hers, because without her, there would be no music.
Happy Valentine's Day!