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Happy Our Mother of Godiva and St. Hallmark's Day

My daughter took this. It's awesome, right? Say yes. Or else.

Of course it's contrived and manufactured.

Here's something you might not know: most everything we do is contrived and manufactured.  Someone decided we were going to do things a certain way and some of us said, "Yes, why, we'd love to do things this way" and others said, "Noooo, I don't think so."  Depending on how powerful that initial group was that decided things were going to be a certain way, the second group either went somewhere else or was, er, dispatched.

And so what?  Just because someone made something up doesn't mean it's not meaningful.

I realize I confuse people by not ascribing to that thinking that says, "Oh we do things this way because it's maaaagical." I don't believe in soul mates.  Much.  But I do believe in love... that it is real and tangible, yet adorned with practical things that we now assume are maaaagical.

What's wrong with Valentine's Day, what upsets some people about it, is the same thing that upsets people about other holidays. Too much money is spent, too little thought is given, and far too much is invested into a singular day or moment... People are upset because we've forgotten that love, romance or faith are daily practices. And that they're free - in terms of money.

You can't be a great spouse just one day a year.  Just like you can't be a devout Muslim, Christian, Hindu or Jew just one day a year.  I mean, you can.  But I don't know how much that's going to benefit you. Or anyone else. I'm just being pragmatic.

I hope you have a terrific Valentine's Day and that you are treated to romance, friendship, thoughtfulness, chocolate and love... always to love.

I hope you get that tomorrow, too.  And the day after that. And so on.

Photo concept, credit and execution: My Six Year Old.

Did you know Native Born has a Facebook page now? I'll be sharing content relevant to this site (I don't know, clips from Rachel Maddow and Buffy the Vampire Slayer?) Give it a like. Please.

Reader Comments (9)

I'll admit, I can be a curmudgeon about a lot of things. Hallmark Holidays, especially. And I know that every day should be a miracle and I should be living and loving for the moment. But the fact is, I get very "workaday" about a lot of life. And so I do appreciate the designated days to pay extra special attention, to get back into the groove of keeping Christmas or Valentine Day or Shoot Off Fireworks Day (Fourth of July and also First Day of Deer Hunting around here) in my heart all year long.

Which, eventually, I don't again. Until I'm reminded - by Hallmark, by my church calendar, by writers....

And hell yeah for any holiday that means chocolate.

And yes, your daughter's photo is stunning. Very, very much so.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJosette at Halushki

For years I have told people that I am a hopeless romantic who has been burned one time too many. And then they laugh. Thing is that's the truth. I used to believe in the happily ever after. Well I still do. Just not for me. VD is just another day in which the masses try to make their beliefs my own. Not happening. I gave up on the happily ever after years ago (Vera Wang is weeping.) for myself but not for others. Every time a friend says that they have met someone new I hope. And then I start planning the wedding. I'm really good at this wedding planning thing as it turns out.

And then I look at the photo. This is what love is. This is what we search for through life. That feeling of seeing the world through six-year-old eyes. Eyes that have not become jaded from life. And really, what is more perfect than that?

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKailyn

And to you, too, Faiqa.
Happy VD!
(Saying it like that makes me laugh. :)

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSybil Law

Love the photo. The innocence of kids when it comes to celebrating things like this makes it so worth it.
I don't think a spouse can make up for being an ass using one day, but I think it is nice to have a reminder to do something for the other person. My rule is that even though he isn't a fan of it, he isn't allowed to just ignore it. You may not pretend it doesn't exist. Especially because he isn't always the best at expressing his emotions. This year we both had fun with it. Which I think is good for the kid. She sees us doing something nice for each other that doesn't involve a new washing machine or clean socks.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia Sprout

Love the photo!

I wish people wouldn't get so upset at Valentine's Day. A day to celebrate love and take a moment to reaffirm something that can get lost in the day to day. Yes, love is every day, but it can be hard to see it in the strum and drang of life. Setting aside a day to remind each other that we're important and loved is a good thing.

As long as we don't get too wrapped up in the method.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

The problem with Valentine's Day lies squarely with the people who treat it as the day that they're obligated to show affection or demonstrate their love, yet don't feel any desire to do so every other day of the year.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

I made Jared breakfast today because it as Valentine's Day. I thought, "ooh - that would be a nice thing to do that I don't normally do." I like little reminders, even in holiday form, to do something nice.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Britt

i love valentine's day. even as a single girl. i mean, i love love.

although i do ask anyone that i happen to be dating to never buy me flowers on february 14th. (kinda funny that i am currently seeing a florist, eh?!) it is just that i would totally prefer any token of affection that he would pick, not that commercials or laziness picked.

one of my favorite valentine's days was years ago when we each took the day off work and spent it together roaming the city. while out and about we picked up fresh items so that we could make dinner our robes (dinner in our robes, not roaming the city!). it was great fun and something i'll never forget. a huge part of that was just being together while everyone else was at work. maybe i find ferris bueller romantic, but holding hands in the museum felt better than any over priced flowers ever will.

hope you had a magnificent valentine's day. in whatever way you wanted to celebrate.

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

I wasn't always a huge fan of Valentine's Day for other reasons, but this year I wanted to do something nice for Mike because every other day of the year, he manages to surprise me somehow. I try, too, but no lie, the man will buy himself the same CD hours before I come home with a copy for him, thinking I'm brilliant at surprises. So this Valentine's Day, being completely broke, I baked him a dozen of his favorite cookies.

I don't think celebrating Valentine's Day makes anyone less of a partner, and I agree that it doesn't make you any more of a partner, either. It's just a day to celebrate the love we already have, that we should already be cherishing. As corny as this might sound, I don't believe in much, but I do believe in love and its power. When all else fails, I have love in my life, and that's enough for me.

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

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