It's Valentine's Day. You all know that. There is no way to escape it. So, I've been thinking about love and pondering one of the most well-known quotes about love:
Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offense. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and endurance. In a word, there are three things that last forever: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of them all is love. ~ Corinthians
That quote contains such beautiful sentiments doesn't it? Let's get real, though. Love is generally patient...except for when you forgot to deposit that $300 check that you were supposed to deposit last week. Love isn't always kind...sometimes it gets a little snippy when it hasn't had enough sleep. As for being boastful and all that, please! Love totally bragged about using all of its Scrabble tiles and kicking your ass. It even did a little victory dance! Love can be a little selfish sometimes but that's okay - love needs to be selfish sometimes or it gets cranky because it doesn't get any alone time. Also, let's be honest - love does take offense every now and again. Sometimes you just ask love, in the nicest possible voice, if it's going to get around to doing the dishes anytime soon and it's all like, "Dishes? I do plenty of dishes!" and then it calls you "little missy" and you know that you should just walk away and it will be alright because there is nothing love can't face. It's not perfect though...it has its limits but it does seem, over time, to endure.
The truth is that love is work. Whether it is the love you have for your friends and family or the love you have for your partner - relationships aren't all flowers and chocolates. Sometimes, love is a pain and not just because cupid shot you in the ass with an arrow. I spent a lot of years thinking that love had to be a certain way. An anniversary would roll around and I'd be like, "Hey! Why is the bedroom floor not covered in rose petals?!" I'd come home from a hard day at work and wonder why the tub was not full of bubbles and there was not a glass of wine sitting nearby. Those things are nice. They are beautiful when they happen. But, they aren't necessary. I've come to find that love is found in the smallest of details... like stumbling into my room in the dark to find that Luisa has left my pajamas on top of my pillow so that I can find them easily...a friend calling simply to say, "I was thinking about you today"...or one of the kids taking my face in their small hands and simply looking at me.
Valentine's Day is a set up for everyone, those in relationships and those who aren't, because it oversimplifies love. It's all about The Ideal or The Great Love. I happen to think all love is great...even when it doesn't pick up its socks off the floor or when it comes over to watch TV and eats crackers on your couch. So, today - let's keep it real. I love y'all so I'm going to put my feet up on your good coffee table, refuse to use a coaster and then spill my drink on your shirt. Through it all...let's keep repeating, "Ain't it grand?"
P.S. Dear Valentines, keep voting!