Thursday, February 9, 2012


My daughters tell me I’m high maintenance.

I don’t want gifts that can be bought at a store. I want time. I don’t care if the time is spent chatting in the living room, walking by the river, cooking in the kitchen, or reading aloud. I want what I call BeWithing.

I want it often. I resent it if I get the “it’s your birthday” or “it’s grandparents day” or “it’s valentines day.” I don’t want my bewithing to be scheduled, or feel like an obligation. I want a sense of randomness and spontaneity to my bewithing.

I bring this up because of all the talk I’m hearing and ads I’m seeing about Valentine’s Day, or VD for short. Once you call it VD, then you can claim it stands for Very Delicious, like the Japanese soda of the same name.

All the worry ahead of time and the discussion afterwards: was the day / date a success? Was the gift appropriate? Were the words spoken “romantic enough?” You’d think there was an absolute scale on which such things could be judged, but then why ask other people? Why compare notes as if it was a group quiz?

People who have set aside VD as a holy day, insist there are only a few admissible ways to celebrate: gifts of cards, candy, poetry, flowers and / or jewelry, and candlelight dinner. Men and women worry that they’ll do it wrong and their beloved may be disappointed.

VD leads to threats and fights. VD becomes more like a dentist appointment than an occasion for happiness.

Love isn’t about setting up expectations and then judging the success of the event.

Love is about enjoying the other person. If a lover feels like making or buying a gift for his or her beloved, that’s fine. But a specific date and a specific limited list of gifts is offensive to the very nature of love itself. Love is about appreciating the unique individual – not about trying to fit one’s self or one’s beloved into a mold.

A specific date is not an obligation, just an opportunity.

So, I say: Foo on Valentine’s Day.

Don’t wait. Enjoy your loved ones today. And if they show affection to you, enjoy that, too.

Spend time BeWithing.

1 comment:

  1. Sent to my putative be-wither. Lovely post.