It takes a brave man to walk into the middle of all of us women and write about love. Our guest blogger, Scott Meek, takes on the challenge:
by Scott Meek
Ooh, baby, you set my world on fire! Hunka hunka burnin’ love! Oh, the flames of my passion doth burn brightly in my bossom! These are some of the sexy or not so sexy things we might hear from friends, co-workers, and loved ones over the next few day as Valentine’s Day rolls up on us, and we’ll try not to feel nauseous when we hear them. All of those phrases, even the last one that I just made up, are ways to express our love, but they seem to come out in the middle of February most since we have a day set aside for just that sort of thing.
It’s Valentine’s Day, the quasi-holiday we love to hate, or hate to love. It’s the perfect day for single people to stomp around in a grump and snarl about the love they don’t have. It’s the perfect day for dreamy-eyed lovers to send disgustingly sweet nothings, and some very expensive somethings, to each other. And for the rest of us, it’s just another day of the week that we try and pretend doesn’t exist, because for those of us who at least seem normal, we know our love does not need a special day of celebration. Or does it? What exactly is Valentine’s Day supposed to be all about?
I thought about this tonight as I was jogging home with my girlfriend of fourteen months now. We were doing our after-work gym routine – jog to gym, quick hard workout, jog home – only we were both pretty quiet on the way back, likely just both tired, and so I got to thinking about Valentine’s Day. We had discussed it over the weekend and decided it was not a big deal, and I take her word for it when she says that. She’s not just pretending. Neither of us gives a damn about Valentine’s Day really, and that’s fine. Only instead of taking the “it’s a waste of time” approach, I thought maybe I might have Valentine’s Day all wrong.
Maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t an over-commercialized, quasi-holiday – okay, yes it is, but maybe it doesn’t have to be. Maybe Valentine’s Day is a reminder, like an anniversary (yet another date that’s not supposed to be the equivalent of your birthday or Christmas), that you need to take a good look at your love life and make sure the fires are still burning.
Too often we get complacent. We get into a routine. “Love you, baby.” “Love you, too.” *smooch* Lights go out. Too often we get in a groove that’s comfortable. Too often we let the fires we had burning for each other just fizzle a bit, leaving us only with embers where once there was a bonfire that burned us inside and out. Now that flame is struggling to survive. The embers are still there, but they need stoking. And sometimes we just need a reminder – grab the poker, put another log on the fire, make it burn us again.
Hey, I’m guilty of this, too, and I am really feeling it lately. Not that I don’t go out of my way to do all the lovey little things I can to make her feel special, because I do, but I’m also feeling like I’ve been more in the embers stage lately. Maybe it’s work (hers and mine) tiring us out. Maybe it’s money. Maybe it’s worries about family or friends. But maybe it’s just us getting a little too comfortable and letting other priorities get in the way a little. Well, for me anyway. I won’t speak for her. I feel like I’ve gotten too comfortable and let other things creep up on my personal priority list, things that aren’t that important, whereas she is. Maybe I’m guilty of just staring at the embers and the poker and sitting back on the couch and feeling satisfied. Or if I’m not, I just feel like I am, and that means something, too.
So, maybe Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be some price tag-ridden disaster that technically starts the day after New Years when chocolates in heart-shaped boxes hit grocery store shelves and make us all groan. Maybe Valentine’s Day is really just a reminder that the special someone that you love dearly, the person whose fires used to consume you in that all so wonderful way, needs more from you, deserves more from you, and maybe even hopes for more from you. Valentine’s Day could be the wind that’s needed to fan those flames, to rekindle that spirit, to remind you of how good it feels to bask in the glow of that bonfire again and feel the heat between you and the person you love.
A twenty-year Navy veteran, Scott Meek now teaches for the National Security Agency, but on the side, his life is less adventurous and involves a tremendous amount of writing. From poetry to political commentary and everything in between, Scott enjoys challenging himself to tell some kind of story, whether it be a dark, futuristic vampire epic - Dying Light, a raunchy detective novella - Swallow, or a Shel Silversteinesque ode to his daughter - Girls Aren’t Stinky, there’s something in the works, and more often than not, many things. He expects to publish three novels this year and write three more. His only writing goal is to entertain through story-telling, and he’s keeping his day job.