Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and my mood is blue…..
Valentine’s day. I’m sorry to say it, but I’m not a fan. I am neither cynical about love. I do have some issues though. Heaven help us. It’s here again and every single year, the same thing. The same pressure, the same feelings of obligation to our partner. Another mini Christmas. Over in a flash, leaving a whirlwind of chaos in credit card bills and hangovers. I overheard a woman in a shop today while I was browsing on my day off saying something I can’t seem to forget. She seemed a little bit lost and confused as she was browsing through an impressive collection of gifts themed for the occassion. When the eager and very happy to please assistant asked if she could help at all, the woman said she needed a gift (obviously).
She was torn between one which was more reasonably priced and another that was more expensive. In the end, she chose to pay more as she said she had just recently got married and she has to make an effort. She wasn’t joking.Those words send a chill down my spine. Making an effort? Is love really an effort? Is it so trying and tiring to love someone? This person didn’t seem as if she was happy. Married for the sake of being married perhaps. Pressured into it maybe? It was the ‘right thing to do’ somehow or ‘it was the right time?’ These unwritten rules also seem to bend towards doing the ‘right thing.’ Or perhaps what is acceptable to society as whole. A sense of obligation was more than apparent. Questions were simply tumbling through my mind as to how she felt about the mystery we all call love.
I can never see the point or the real meaning of celebrating the encompassing beauty of love in one day. It’s totality and wholeness is not simply confined to buying a gift on one day of the year to the one person who are supposed to love and cherish. Take the words ‘supposed to’ out of the equation. What are we left with? A hell of a lot of insecurity. Without ‘having to’ do something, would we actually do it? I suspect many of us are living a little bit of a lie when it comes to love. Like children, if we are not chastised by our parents (society), would we be badly behaved? Perhaps, given the freedom to choose, we may act in ways that surprise ourselves and others.
That is too scary to acknoweldge. Freedom? You mean – it’s OK not to all do the same thing all at once like sheep? There is no joy in acting out of obligation – unless you like experiencing the feelings of resentment. If you genuinely want to do it, that’s awesome. Don’t split up, don’t file for divorce. Don’t get married, don’t stay single. Don’t have kids, do have kids. If the do’s and don’ts aren’t your voice and someone else’s, you shouldn’t even be listening. Don’t live a version of a life that isn’t really yours.
I am a cheerleader for love of course (whatever love is). Always have been. As long as you mean it…and as long as you really feel it. But how do you know when it is love? Now that question will keep me typing all day…..you just know.
My verdict in regards to the mystery woman in the shop- very strange indeed. Perhaps not so strange if we understand the subtle pressure of obligation we live under. Nothing will sap the joy out of you so much.
© Christina McDonald 2014