February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I already wrote about having a green Valentine's Day earlier this week, but it's such a gorgeous day outside I just had to acknowledge it. Truthfully, I don't have very positive feelings about the holiday. For one thing, the idea of telling people when to celebrate their love and that they need to buy things to prove it irks me. And for another, anyone who's ever been single on Valentine's Day knows that the holiday seems like an excuse to torture the unattached. So my husband and I basically don't celebrate it, preferring instead to show our love "all the days of the year." And as long as we stick to that, that's fine by me. It works because my husband really is the kind of guy who constantly leaves me notes, makes things for me, tells me how gorgeous I am, and does little thoughtful things like empty the wastebasket in my office. He's sort of always thinking of me and that makes me feel warm inside.

Sorry to get all mushy! Anyway, I gave my husband possibly one of the best gifts ever during our first year together when I gave him a free pass on Valentine's Day. I realized that waiting to see what he was going to do for me or give to me was a sort of sadistic torture test for men, and so I didn't want to participate. He doesn't have to do anything or even mention it. And I usually don't do anything, although sometimes I buy him a giant Reese's peanut butter heart that he loves, and one time I baked him a heart shaped cake.

Tonight we're going to open a bottle of really great wine. And I think my feelings have changed a little bit over the years. I don't think there's anything wrong with the idea of a whole bunch of people celebrating their love for each other all at the same time. Maybe it will inch us forward in terms of consciousness raising, like when thousands of people meditate or pray at once.

So go ahead and celebrate your love today. And it doesn't have to be with a romantic partner. There's all kinds of love in the world, and we need all we can get.


Marylyn said...

Is this an exercise in willpower or in doing good? I think there's a bit of self-flagellation here. The museum (I presume it's a non-profit) needs to sell things in their store to support their activities, so, in my opinion, buying a few postcards would be a GOOD thing--for the museum. Although I suppose you already paid an entry fee. How many trees does the entire industry of nice, glossy reproduction postcards destroy, really? Then there's the question of whether or not, since they've already been printed and are sitting there waiting to be bought, if your purchase would stimulate more printing of postcards. I doubt it, because they probably have mucho inventory, and need to sell it. This Compact thing is interfering with your being able to "live in the moment." But maybe you WANT it to? Are you saving money with this? Are you going to donate it to something? Don't mean to discourage you, but I hate to see you suffer with bouts of solipsistic decision-making angst. I am familiar with that kind of suffering.

Angela said...

I don't think The Compact is interfering with my ability to "live in the moment." I had a great time at the Getty, mostly enjoying the exhibits and the gardens. As I said, I don't think there's anything wrong with buying anything in the gift shop, postcards included, because of course I want to support museums and non-profits. The point is that I'm trying to do the experiment all the way, which will make me focus long-term on the purchases I value and would want to make in the future (postcards from museums) versus the ones I wouldn't want to make (a Christmas tree skirt, for example). It goes along with balancing long-term buying things from local gift shops with not buying at all. I'm doing The Compact this year mostly to save money and declutter. The only way I can declutter is to bring less stuff in. And I need to live on less money because I work freelance. It would be nice if I could donate it, but I need to save it for my own expenses. I think living a simpler, greener life and leaving less of a carbon footprint is also a goal and follows from not buying anything new.

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