Since I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, and have never had much luck at all with the fairer sex, writing about love, relationships and especially Valentines Day does not come naturally to me. One could even say it is a downright sore subject with me. I could come up with a not-so-short list of things I would rather do to waste my time. I could collect lawn clippings and make sculptures out of them, take up under-water basket weaving in shark-infested waters, or insult the mother of a heavy weight boxer.
Believe me, it would be a relatively small chore for me to write a clich article about how Valentine’s Day is a sham of a corporate holiday. It is ridiculous that so much emphasis is place on a day set aside to celebrate what people in meaningful relationships should celebrate everyday.
Do not misunderstand the words I am typing. I am sure that if you are in a meaningful relationship on Valentine’s Day everything will turn up roses for you. For the people who are not so fortunate, I have just two words for you: Metallica and tequila.
After much soul searching and drinking, I was able to come up with a working man’s definition of love. Since it is easier to define exactly what love is not, rather than what love is, then this will be the starting point. Love is not the five-minute marriages that are typically seen in Hollywood. A few notable examples would be Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton’s short-lived marriage and Elizabeth Taylor and fill-in-the-blank (her count officially stands at eight divorces!).
Love is not having blow up fights on your cell phone with your significant other. Having grown up with a teenage sister, I could tell you some horror stories about cell phone fights with boyfriends of hers. It was a real catch-22 because she would be crying and I knew she was really upset, but taking the risk and opening the door meant certain death. If you traveled the seven seas with roughest of sailors, you could never hear such a barrage of expletives like a girl who has been in a cell phone fight.
Love and one night stands have absolutely nothing in common but I am sure you already knew that. Sorry, but going to the bar and looking for “chicks” does not fit the bill either.
Disney movies are not real romance either. Back in the day, you knew Beauty would end up with the Beast. Any guys who claim they never saw this are lying. Love is not driving 900 miles to Florida and wearing adult diapers so that you do not have to stop so that you can kidnap the girlfriend of the guy you like, as Astronaut Lisa Nowak did. It certainly does not resemble the “special” feelings that students have for Jed Smock, the evangelical minister who has graced our campus with his presence.
Ok! That was easy. Now it is time for the hard part, what love really is. Love is an experience and to each his or her own. Since I am the one at the keyboard, I guess you are going to have to settle for what I have to say. “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.” This clause in marriage vows means something extra to me now. Even though I am not married I have seen these vows in action first hand.
I know this married couple that, just a few weeks ago, found out that the husband was diagnosed with acute leukemia. The cancer is moving quickly and the husband has since gone to M.D. Anderson, one of the best cancer hospitals in the world, and begun chemotherapy. In a few months, the husband will have a bone marrow transplant and the wife will have to stay with him 24 hrs a day for three months after that.
The wife has been very upset and worried about her husband’s health, but she has three children and she must remain strong for them. It is in a situation like this that you discover what you are made of and help you to realize what is really important in life. This family has been helped out tremendously by their friends and family and would not be getting through this ordeal without the love and support that they have received.
I can tell you what love is because the husband and wife in this story are my parents.