The fine art of love….
The days are falling by the wayside and before you know it Valentine’s Day will be upon us. The moment the Christmas decorations left the stores, they were replaced by things pink, red and heart shaped. And while I’ve nothing against telling the world how important your loved one is by sending cards, candy, flowers or going out to eat on a day marked for romance, it does bother me that the supply and demand has consumers paying higher prices than usual, leaving many men feeling guilty if they don’t have bouquets of long stem roses sent to the office. And in order to accommodate the larger than normal numbers of diners, couples are crammed into corners near the kitchen/restrooms where the noise level is unbefitting any semblance of romance.
Valentine’s Day – My first recollections: I remember handing out cards in elementary school to all my classmates and loved receiving all the “be mine” in return. It was a day for showing you care. A day of friendship. Joy was on everyone’s faces as those little cards were passed around.
I love “love” and have come to adore the little gestures between couples or friends. I remember saying wow when I found out that my mother’s wooden jewelry box was once filled with chocolates and in the top drawer of her dresser wrapped in tissue paper was the heart shaped mirror that was once the cover of a box of Schrafft’s. Who knew my father was romantic but I know my mother loved the sentiment behind every box of candy she received throughout the years.
This year Jene and I will celebrate as husband & wife. I wonder what is in store for the day. I’ve not given it a thought until now… A little pampering is always pleasant. It’s the little touches that are recalled. Jene still has the little metal pail that I filled with red, pink and white m&m’s It certainly wasn’t expensive or even overly romantic but it was unexpected we had only been dating a short time. He took me out to dinner.
I loved hearing about the little romantic ways that my coworkers’ sweethearts celebrated their evenings together. The rose petal filled bath, a much deserved foot massage, yes, the flowers, chocolates and dinners shared. Most are now married with children but that only makes the little nuances more cherished and keeping the romance alive all the more important for the couples.
There are so many little ways to lavish one with affection and it doesn’t have to break the bank. I left a red ribbon in the shape of a heart on Jene’s bed for him to come home to. He still has that ribbon. It made him smile. The hand-made cards with my sentiments are still on his bookshelf. I have all of his too. I’ve grown to appreciate and spoil my sweetheart nearly every chance I get as it is reciprocated. Once I had come home from work and there was a snowman built on my lawn. He knew that would bring a smile to my lips.
So what does love have to do with it? Everything! Feeling loved is magical. It wards off the stresses of everyday life, it warms your heart on even the coldest, harshest days, it makes you feel that you are not alone when life gets you down. It comes in many forms and from different things, a mother’s love, a pet’s unconditional love, a friend’s understanding voice or sympathetic ear. It’s there for the taking (and giving). While Valentine’s Day is slated for lovers, it is not theirs alone to celebrate. To me it’s a day in mid winter when the smallest gesture can make a big difference.
While I devoured the chocolates, the gifts that linger in my mind are the quiet moments spent holding hands, talking about dreams, the sharing of our lives. Of course the antique gold heart will hang around my neck for a lifetime and the print of the bleeding hearts will adorn my wall. Like most women, I like to surround myself with beautiful things and that’s why I like art on my walls. My home looks like a gallery, mostly images of mine and a few of Jene’s. 2 prints that I’ve purchased from photographer/friend Denise DeLuise, an abstract painting by Christine Soccio, a b&w sketch by Teresa, a street vendor in Venice, a mono print by E. Hart in New Zealand.
Art is a very personal, choosing a print takes a lot of thought on the person giving the gift. I gave a friend a framed print of Jene’s entitled Blue dancer. It was his second marriage, coming after a bitter divorce. The print reminded me of the song “I hope you dance” by Lee Ann Womack. In the card I wrote that I was so happy that he decided not to sit it out… When they opened the gift, his bride exclaimed that it was her favorite song. The print hangs in their bedroom reminding them how they both took a chance and danced.
I loved the child-like freedom that comes to mind when I look at that image. A lot of Jene’s photos are painterly more than the exact depictions of a photograph. A lot of my images echo that sentiment although our styles are different. Maybe that’s why I was drawn to him. So for the cost of a dozen roses and a dinner on the town, you can give a more lasting unique gift of art.
A lot of my latest work can be seen on previous blogs and others on my website: www.marywehrhahn.com
The fine art of love and giving is alive and well, all it takes a little imagination and planning to make it truly unique. A friend’s son, had taken note throughout the year of his girlfriend’s menu choices and presented her with a cookbook that he created with recipes from all their dates. He is a bona fide romantic and she the type of person to appreciate all that went into that present. Knowing what would tickle your partner’s fancy is key.
I think it all boils down to, doing something or buying something you know the other person would appreciate. From the time my daughter was a toddler, my brother would grab her hand give her the loudest smootches. She would squirm and try to pull away from his grip. It was a game between them. For his 30th BD, she gave him a coupon book of kisses. The best gift ever, he boasted. I’ve given friends coupons for free babysitting services, boysfriends – back massages, when my funds were too tight. Sometimes it is the thought that counts, because the gesture is given as a token of love or friendship. So this year, why not think out of the box, get a little creative – you can still send roses, buy jewelry, take her dancing, give a spa treatment certificate whatever or leave a trail of “I love you because ______” notes around the house leading to the gift. Wrap a piece of chocolate and put it in her purse saying that you are thinking about her/or in his backpack. Make a brownbag lunch with candy hearts in the bag. It’s sure to bring a smile to your lovers lips throughout the day.