11 February 2013
Hearts & Flowers & Words & Stuff
It's February and that means the non-stop hearts and flowers of Valentine's Day, and all thoughts turned to love. I have to say, this year, I'm just not feeling it. That's not to say I'm not in love. I've had the same valentine for the last seventeen years and I'm just as happy to have him "Be Mine" as I've always been.
And I don't mind the commercialization. I like the fact that I'm guaranteed some fluffy plush bear or bunny at a discounted price on February 17th or so each year. The same discounts can be found on my beloved chocolate covered cherries and all manner of delicious, nutritionally devoid treats. I like the kitschy bits and baubles, heart-shaped pizzas, candied roses, pink and red everything.
I'm less enthusiastic about the cards. Don't get me wrong, I love the greeting card industry as a whole. I appreciate the fact that someone spends their day coming up with cute, quaint, sentimental and even corny sayings to bring smiles to millions. I know how much a "get well" card can brighten someone's day. They're great. I just don't think they should be the designated expression of love for the season.
In the time of emails, chat and text, the concept of taking a moment to express ourselves in original thought should be a given. How then, is it perfectly acceptable to drop a card in the mail, tuck it into flowers, or heaven forbid, send an e-card with nothing more than a signature attached? When did our own words become less valued this time of year? When did the mass produced sentiment meant to enhance our personal words, replace them? When did we forget how to speak the language of love?
I don't expect ten page flowing prose to spill from the pen of all in love or lust this season. I realize that not everyone is as in love with language as I am. But at the very least I expect the 140 characters a tween on twitter can manage. Perhaps that's the very thing that will turn it around. The more we become enamored of expressing ourselves concerning everything from lunch to politics, the less we'll be willing to surrender our words when it matters.
Here's to love. Here's to language. Here's to a month where everything, even a card with someone else's words, all mean the same thing. "I love you."