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!
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