I could write those things, but what's the fun in that? Besides, I don't feel bitter or angry. I don't feel bad about being single on Valentine's Day, and while yes, it's extremely commercialized, so is everything else. Does commercialism stop you from celebrating Christmas, or your birthday? Come on, don't be that girl/guy - cupid is adorable!
As for showing love every day - yes, I agree completely. Being loving and kind to each other should happen everyday, not just on Valentine's Day. Obviously, I love my family and friends, but I also love a lot of things - I love hip hop and soul music; I love Italian food; I love tattoos; I love make-up; I love earrings; I love Saturdays, I love The Godfather (parts I and II only), I love the TV show The Office... see where I'm going with this? We use the word love a lot - and for things that we don't really love, we just might really like or enjoy them. What's the point of being down on Valentine's Day if we're just going to assign the word love to trivial things everyday? Go ahead and send that Valentine, eat that chocolate and celebrate a beautiful day reserved for a beautiful thing - love.
As I wrote last week, I believe in love. That said, I also know that love isn't easy to come by. I've been in love before, and I've also fallen out of love. I've known the sheer joy that love delivers and the pain it causes. As the poet Kahlil Gibran wrote:
"All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart."Love isn't meant to be perfect. Love isn't meant to always be happy. Love is, however, a force to be reckoned with and if one is open to it, love can transform a person. I love each and everyday - and as cliché as it might sound, I have finally realized the importance of loving myself - good and bad, through thick and thin, on good days and bad days. Isn't that what love is about? Love is what carries us through the hard times and it's what allows us to celebrate the good. If I can do that for myself, then I can surely love someone else.
I'll say it again: I believe in love. I will fall in love again someday, and when I do, I'll be sure to let you know.
Next time: The Naked Truth
Among the many things I love, one of the things I love most is music. Every aspect of my life involves music and every memory I have has some song attached to it. I can't function without music. When I was 14, I spent every Saturday night listening to Love Lines, a show on a local radio station. My love for classic soul is directly linked to this show, and although now we have the nationally syndicated Art Laboe show, it just isn't the same.
My first puppy love, Jason* was really into heavy metal but being the very sweet boyfriend that he was, he would always call Love Lines and request "our song." I would sit anxiously by the radio, waiting for the DJ to read his dedication: "This is going out to Andrea from Jason. He just wants you to know he loves you Always and Forever" and then the opening music of Heatwave's classic would start. I'd call Jason right away and we would talk about how much we loved each other and we would carry on about how much we missed each other (we didn't really see each other on weekends - what do you expect? We were fourteen!) and that we were going to stay together - always and forever (insert cheesy "awww" here).
As my gift to you, I'm compiling my list of some of my favorite love songs - many of them are songs I first heard on Love Lines so long ago, some are more recent. Some of them are about falling in love, some of them are about the pain of love, but either way, they are love songs. Listen, enjoy, reminisce, and most of all, celebrate love - not because it's Valentine's Day but because love should be celebrated everyday.
Always and Forever - Heatwave
The Closer I Get To You - Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway
Tonight, I Celebrate My Love - Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson
Candy - Big Maybelle
Suavecito - Malo
You're Still A Young Man - Tower of Power
Tender Love - Force MD's
All This Love - DeBarge
How Do You Mend A Broken Heart - Al Green
My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
Love You Down - Ready For The World
Samba Pa Ti - Santana
Strawberry Letter 23 - Brothers Johnson
Love and Happiness - Al Green
Turn Off the Lights - Teddy Pendergrass
Take Me As I Am - Lyn Collins
Try Me - James Brown
You Don't Know My Name - Alicia Keys
If This World Were Mine - Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
Distant Lover - Marvin Gaye
Confessin' A Feeling - Sly, Slick and Wicked
You Got Me - The Roots
Don't Disturb This Groove - The System
...and my all time, number one favorite love song of all time:
Don't Say Goodnight - The Isley Brothers
Happy Valentines Day, and thanks for reading and taking this journey with me...