One of the most recognizable symbols of Valentine's Day is Cupid, the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. Often Cupid is depicted with a bow and arrow. The idea is that once you are struck by Cupid's arrow you will be filled with uncontrollable desire or fall madly in love or something like that. When I read this description of Cupid, I thought "how terrible!" It completely changed my original view of the bow and arrow wielding deity. My idea of Cupid has been shaped by cartoons and movies. Being hit with Cupid's arrow means that you will find your one true love. Zip, zing, pow. You are in love. According to the movies. I have never felt that zip, zing, pow. It could just be because I am a somewhat reserved person. I have, how ever, been in love. It has always been matter of fact, I love this person without all the bells and whistles that fiction books talk about. That doesn't mean that I have been lacking in romance.
Back in the day, I used to collect Disney movies. I had grown up watching these movies, but I also loved the art work that adorned each case. Any one who knows anything about Disney movies, know that they only released them at certain times for a certain amount of time and then they'd go back in the "vault". So this kind made them a collectors item. I was never good at buying things for myself. I'd hear that one would be coming out and get excited, but never go buy it. Chris used to buy them without telling me and then he'd sneak it into the stack of all the other videos. He'd just sit back and wait until I'd discover it. Sometimes it would be days before I would realize there was new video on the shelf. When I'd finally see the new video on the shelf, I would gasp and jump for joy and then we'd laugh about how long it had been sitting there.
There was a day this week that I thought I could let pass without incident or thought. I believed that I could just go about my day without thinking or remembering or maybe remembering, but being at peace with it all. Instead, I spent the day either crying at my desk or trying not to cry at my desk. When I said all of this to Michael, he said that I should cry at my desk on such a day and that I should do it every year. He said "You loved and were loved back." It is the part where he says that I was loved back that resonated in me. Because that's the part I don't always consider. That's where Cupid fails us. He forgets that, though it's important to love, it's just as important to know that you are loved in return. On my second date with Michael, he took me to see the stars. Literally. He took me to a roof top observatory at the local college. We saw Venus and the surface of the Moon. Then, after we'd been dating for a few weeks, he bought a scooter. He bought a scooter because of me. Now he convinces me to take crazy scooter rides, even on days where I feel like I have too many other things to do. Did I mention he's building me a chicken coop? These are real Valentines.
I may or may not have been hit with Cupid's arrow. Uncontrollable desires should be left to needs like having an uncontrollable desire to eat a cookie or dance or sing. I am thankful that I have had plenty of those kinds of desires. I have loved. I love. I am thankful for that. But I am just as thankful, maybe more so, to know that I was loved and that I am loved. I can tell you that feels way better than any zip, zing or pow.
I am thankful for surprise boxes that just show up in the mail. I am thankful for quiet evenings. I am thankful for ramen noodles and I am as always thankful for you. Here's to knowing that you are a loved and beautiful Thankful Friday.