A lot of people take issue with the importance of saying ‘I LOVE YOU’ and I get that, and I’m here to tell you that the pressure to say it is off.
In my Midwestern family we rarely hugged. In true Scandinavian form we chose instead to shovel the walk, clean the bathroom, or buy an extravagant gift when we wanted to show a fellow family member how much we cared.
My father rarely hugged us, and was in fact a terrible hugger when he did, choosing instead to stand sort of far away and give us a couple of gut-rattling back-pats in the place of a full-on bear hug.
My high level of reserve has proved problematic in the past. Extended families of past boyfriends couldn’t understand why I would scuttle away like Prufrock’s crab after being touched, tugged, patted or kissed, and definitely couldn’t grasp how such a young girl could have the gruffness of an old man and the austerity of a schoolmarm when it came to expressing her feelings of love and support verbally.
That being said, Valentine’s day is my favorite holiday, as it allows me to say how I feel in ways that come much easier to me – by buying things, making things, and doing things.
This week, I’m celebrating those in my life who keep me motivated and movin’ ahead through their love and affection. Hope you’re doing the same and telling folks how you feel in whatever way feels best.
+photo of hiroki&kelsi nakamura via nick wooster +