Generally, I’m not a fan of anything contrived, and February 14 typically stands as a glaring example of what I call, “misappropriation of sentiment.” There is, however, nothing even vaguely contrived when it comes to how much Rebekah and I love one another; so it seems entirely appropriate to add gifts to the sentiment, and to enjoy Valentine’s Day for what it is.
- The key question, it turns out, is “How is that love expressed the 364 other days?”
- The critical imperative is that Valentine’s Day does not stand alone.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:9-1)
FILET: The best way – in my estimation – to make sure genuine love is not washed overboard by sloppy, clichéd sentiment, is to finesse the celebration into something that demonstrates an understanding of what “the beloved” really appreciates – what really floats her boat.
Rebekah, for example, may appreciate roses, cards, and the forbidden deliciousness of petit fours; but what she really, really loves is hand-crafted words by yours truly, and filet-mignon – the filet de bœuf – prepared to order and served, with love, by the same guy who purchased those flowers.
My words went like this: “I couldn’t wait until Valentine’s Day to send you roses. Roses try hard to say, ‘I love you,’ but a dozen can only write the introduction to Year-38 of an epic love story. Yours, always, Derek”
And me? I’m a very simple man at the core of things, and all I want to know is that my expression of love has hit the mark. Rebekah achieved that beautifully by gifting me with the framed, signed, piece of calligraphy I pasted at the beginning of this post.
“Together is our favorite place to be.”
So I have made my peace with Valentine’s Day. I no longer push against the endemic hypocrisy of the greetings-card culture by becoming a hypocrite myself.
Just so long as I remember to say it with steak! – DEREK