By Lisa Hamilton
It is the month of love, cards, flowers, and professions of affection, where the recipient is overwhelmed with ecstatic appreciation. It is the special day when the ladies pick out their favorite red dress, and the gentlemen make all the preparations for a romantic interlude.
It is the day every starry-eyed romantic awaits…Valentine’s Day. Yet, if you haven’t been shot by Cupid’s arrow, it is analogous to a Maserati without gas, a beach day without sun, or cereal without milk. But rather than ask Got milk?“ more befitting is Got arrow? In spite of that, how does Cupid find these lucky couples, and why didn’t I get the memo? Admitting to a case of arrow envy, I decided parading a bright red T-shirt with Be my Valentine was just too desperate a solution.
I decided instead to dine alone in my non red attire, relishing the fact that I didn’t have to put on make-up, buy a new dress, or wear uncomfortable shoes. Surprisingly enjoying myself, it was my sweet revenge.
Taking my own Valentine’s Day survey on love, I asked the waiter, “what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?” Suddenly, his entire demeanor transformed. “I am going to ask my girlfriend to marry me. He paused, “For over a year, I have been working double shifts saving my money to buy the engagement ring. I only have a few payments left. Then it will be paid off. I am so excited. I can’t wait.”
I was caught up in his excitement as if it was my own. Witnessing his devotion and sacrifice was a living testament to the truest statement of love: it is better to give than to receive. Scurrying off to help his other tables, I remained silent contemplating the volumes of what he did not say but what his heart spoke.
Sacrifice is the measure of love. Without sacrifice there is no true love. Love is not an easy date where love words are spoken. Love happens behind the scenes when no one is looking. Love happens in the long hours of work and devotion for another. Symbolically, it is the price paid for the diamond ring that says…and I will sacrifice for you for the rest of my life. As a mother is to a child, it is an altruistic love that transcends romance. Euphorically paying my bill, I added an extra large tip as if vicariously helping the ring fund. I wanted to be on the giving end of love. Why was I waiting to be shot with the infamous Cupid’s arrow? Why was I waiting to be asked out on Valentine’s Day? Why was I waiting to receive?
I felt like Scrouge on Christmas day. I bought a bucket of red roses, and though it wasn’t Valentine’s Day yet, I passed them out to all the people in my life that I love. It was the ultimate revenge. I didn’t need Cupid. Real love pierces the heart much deeper than any arrow ever could.
About Lisa Hamilton
Lisa Hamilton is a freelance writer for the Los Angeles Times newspaper, as well as a respected speaker. She recently published her humorous book Unstick Your Stuck Life