“We accept the love we think we deserve.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I’m hoping to post for real today, but I just saw that quote on Twitter (tweeted by no less a figure than Newark mayor Cory Booker, who I follow and if you’re on Twitter, you should, too) and it just punched me in the solar plexus.
For all the reasons that everyone else like me is not much into Valentine’s Day, I’m not much into Valentine’s Day: It’s a corporate construct, romance is not a matter of flowers and chocolate, why should one day be more about love than the other 364(5)… etc, etc, ad nauseum. At dinner, I’ll give my beloveds handmade cards in which I tell each of them something about them that I love, and we’ll decorate homemade heart-shaped brownies together. I don’t generally get much of anything from anyone on Valentine’s Day (though last night the husband did get me some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups), but I’m kind of cool with that — it’s my day to make my family heart-shaped brownies.
But that quote, man. That quote! That’s a thing to ring in your ears and shape the way you live your life. What kind of love do I think I deserve? What kind of love do I want my children to think they deserve? How do I live my life in a way that helps others know themselves worthy of genuine, affirming, soul-breathing love? And the people out there accepting something less than that — who taught them to think that’s all they deserve?
So: Happy Valentine’s Day! Please find someone you love and tell them so, in a way that only they can hear. Romance — or any of love’s many forms — is not, in fact, flowers and chocolates. It’s treating someone like you know that they deserve great love, even on those days when they’re not sure.
(And apparently now I have another book to read).