A Cheery Bit
Love: Philosophically Speaking

It's Love Week!

Here we are . . . in February.
It's cold and still dark and winter and, well . . . spring feels a long way off right now.

At least there's Valentine's Day!

Now, I'm not a true fan of Valentine's Day. There are many things about Valentine's Day that make my skin crawl. (The whole commercial focus. The over-emphasis on having a "valentine" in a romantic sense. The feeling "less than" if you don't. That kind of thing.) But. I AM a fan of letting people know you love them and that you're thinking about them. I'm a fan of kindness. I'm a sucker for cute little hearts.

I also think it's a good idea to have all that red and pink show up in the middle of winter, y'know?

Anyway. This week? It's gonna be all love, every day here on my blog!

Love week

I'm just going to start by asking you . . . What do you think of Valentine's Day? Fan? Not a fan? Happy memories? Painful memories? Don't like red? Do you send valentines? Do you like to receive them? What are your best memories of Valentine's Day?

For me, I loved Valentine's Day when I was a little girl. My mom used to put red food coloring in all the milk in the house (right in the containers), so when we poured it out on our cereal in the morning, the milk was pink! She always feigned surprise in a Most Convincing way -- and told us the cupids must have done it in the night, spreading love. My sister and I were delighted! Every year. (She did this with green food coloring on St. Patrick's Day, too . . . claiming the leprechauns must have visited in the night, making mischief and and turning our milk green.)

I also loved designing and making my Valentine mailbox for my classroom party -- the shoebox, the construction paper, the doilies; so much . . . possibility! And I loved pouring over my little cards, deciding just who to give which Valentine card to (you didn't want to send the wrong message, y'know?). It was such a fun day for me. Until about 5th grade and it all began to unravel. But we don't need to go into that.

Once I did find my romantic "valentine" (who is a very low-key kind of celebrator when it comes to any holiday or "special" day) and I had kids of my own, I kept things simple. Wear red. Cupid-milk. Heart-shaped candies. And an emphasis on love. (And, as Erin reached middle school, kleenex for the hurt feelings.) (In our house, there were some serious gender differences when it came to Valentine's Day. . . )


Last week, I started thinking about the "Five Love Languages" (remember those?) Dr. Gary Chapman has created a whole "thing" (I hesitate to use the word "empire," but that is the word that first came to mind) around this love language concept, positing that "relationships grow better when we understand each other." He suggests that there are five basic ways people prefer to give and receive love -- the "love languages" - and that when we understand them, we can communicate love to each other in better and more effective ways. I have actually never read his original book, but I've heard and read enough about the concept to understand. I think there's something to it.

I took the quiz last night.

Turns out, my primary love language is "Words of Affirmation." I'd have to agree that it's . . . spot on. (My quiz showed zero points for "Receiving Gifts." Also very accurate.) (Lucky Tom.) Basically, then . . . tell me something nice, and I'm good to go!

How about you? Have you ever taken the love languages quiz? And if you did, what did you think of the results?


So. There you are.
Welcome to Love Week!


"Love is the answer, and you know that for sure. Love is a flower, you've got to let it grow."
--- John Lennon




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Ha! I've never heard of the Love Languages (or if I have, I don't remember...aging brain and all that). I'm more a fan of showing love ALL the time - year round, but I agree with you that it's nice to see red and pink in the middle of (snowy white) winter. I was never that much of a fan of Valentine's Day when I was in school. I did the cards to classmates and made my Valentine's box, etc. but I didn't really enjoy it. I would rather have curled up somewhere with a book! I will say though that I found a card for Fletch (not always easy) and actually got him something (which arrived here two weeks ago)! I'm ahead of the game!!


Well this should be a fun week! I loved making & giving valentines as a kid, and again as an adult (I love a good paper doily). Upper elementary/jr high/and some of h.s.--less fun. I dreaded the 'Carnation Sales Week,' culminating in delivery on Valentine's Day. UGH. Red for love, Pink for like-like, White for friends. I may have had a carnation to pin to my sweater a few times--maybe. Then there were the girls who traipsed around with a veritable multi-colored BOUQUET on their shirts. My skin crawled at the public show of popularity every year--and I still squirm when I see emails come in from my kids' schools about 'Val-o-grams'! Troy and I don't really 'do' the day (it's just not us.) (He jokes that he scores bigger with me if he buys chocolate-covered strawberries @ half-price on the 15th.) What I DO like is the Valentine's Day Breakfast I make and the little treats I give my kiddos. Simple ones--conversation hearts, always a favorite.


I've always loved Valentine's Day. My mom made a BIG deal out of it. We got gifts and candy and always had a special family dinner. Her philosophy was that it was a day about love, any kind of love, and it should be celebrated. I never felt bad about not having a romantic valentine because of how she treated the day. As for the love language thing, I'm an acts of service person. Empty the dishwasher and run my errands and I'm in love!


I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day, and it probably goes back to the fact that I witnessed more hurt feelings than happiness. I loved making cards for EVERYONE in my class in elementary school, but even then there were tears when some people only got a few cards. I ignored the whole thing in high school, and since I had two boys, they also tended to ignore the day. My family did seem to look forward to the heart-shaped meatloaf and heart cookies I always made. I haven't heard about (or don't remember) the Five Love Languages , but took the quiz and "Acts of Service" is my primary love language. No surprise there; shovel snow and I know you care about me!

Kim in Oregon

I'm pretty ambivalent about Valentine's day. It didn't really bother me when I was 'uncoupled' and now that I'm 'coupled' we generally mark the day with a card and maybe some heart shaped chocolate (although this year I'm making a chocolate cake because it's on a Sunday and why not).


I am not a fan of Valentine's Day ... except that I do think of it as the dark chocolate/red wine/cozy fire of holidays and I am ALL into those things. My love language is Quality Time and that fits right in with my favorite things!


Valentine’s Day...really quite terrible for public school folk if you think about it! Especially 5th grade on! Physical touch for me - no surprise as we were laughing about it this weekend - “what I require vs. what you require” :-) looking forward to this very fun week! XO


Mine was . . . acts of service.

BUT, a lot of the time neither answer was one I would have picked on my own.

I guess my beef with Valentine's Day is how sexist it has become. The woman should get expensive jewelry or a car and what does the guy ever get? Well, I suppose there is the suggestion that he will get sex out of the deal, but I'm guessing maybe he just gets stuck with a pretty pricey credit card receipt.

kathy b

I loved when my kids came home from school with their backpacks full of Valentines and candies. Little conversation hearts were a must. Now, they would probably break my teeth!!! I loved the fun puns on the candy.
My father would fill a small Fannie May candy box with creams for us ,IF we gave him the box back year after year. There was a Fannie May outlet near his workplace.

I love hearts. My diamond engagement shape was a heart. I love it still.

This year, my kids (grown) Both have their own valentines. I don't plan to send them one. I figure I'll shower my hubby , my Covid company, with little gifts. I already found a pen they used in space to write from any angle. Little things like that.

Oh we used to get a heart shaped pizza on Valentines day. The kids loved it.


In my school, one was required to give a Valentine to everyone in the class which went a long way. I enjoyed making the Valentine box in grade school. I still make Valentines for my kids and grandchildren. One of the sweetest memories I have is the year my Mom died on February 5. I stayed on with my Dad for a few days after her funeral to help him with thank you notes and some other arrangements. When I got home, I was tired, sad, and a bit of a puddle. My daughter was waiting for me. She had assembled all the supplies to make Valentines - stickers, markers, doilies, construction paper, glue stick to cheer me. We sat down and made Valentines together.


I've always liked the part of Valentine's Day that's about showing love for your family members and eating chocolate, but there were definitely some years when I was single that were a bit depressing. I've never liked the highly commercial part of it, either. But my mother would always get us a little gift on Valentine's Day, and I've carried on that tradition with my daughter (I got her some cute enamel pins and a sticker this year). She and I also received a package from my mother with two little boxes and a gift receipt from Pandora, so I suspect we'll be getting some matching jewelry!

Because we obviously can't go out for dinner this year (someone my husband and I have done in past years), kiddo and I have decided that we're going to cook a fancy meal for the three of us this year! She loves to help in the kitchen, so I think it will be a really fun activity for the two of us and then all three of us can enjoy the result.

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