2016-02-14 / Insight

My View Point

Love makes you want to put someone else’s needs first
By Krystal Johns

Don’t judge a book by its cover, especially when it’s the book of love.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! By now, many are either reveling in forced affection, grumbling due to the lack of said forced attention, or refusing to acknowledge today as a valid holiday at all.

I wonder, do women really believe the amount of affection their man has for them is proportionate to the size of the bouquet or box of chocolates they receive?

Don’t get me wrong, love is grand, and showing your special someone they’re meaningful to you on Feb. 14 — or any other day — is a wonderful thing. However, turning six store aisles into a red and pink forest of hearts on Valentine’s Day takes some of the shine off the thing.

The same can be said for weddings and marriage, I’m learning.

Relatively newly-engaged, I’ve begun the process of planning an intimate wedding. The whole process began before the engagement, with the ring shopping. Of course, the girlie girl in me was looking forward to a sparkly something on a significant digit to indicate to the world that I am no longer single. But I was hardly a salesperson’s dream while shopping.

Invariably, a tray of blindingly brilliant diamonds would be brought out, most of them surrounded in an equally blinding halo of even more diamonds. They had matching bands, too, with even more diamonds. The wince on my face was confusing to the salespeople. What do you MEAN you don’t want a diamond?

I told one saleswoman I wasn’t even sure I wanted an additional band and she was flabbergasted. In fact, she haughtily informed me that I could go bandless, but people would constantly assume I wasn’t married yet, and they’d judge me. I told her, quite frankly, that I had been married 11 years before and never wore a band, and no one had questioned my marital status. Besides, who gives a rip what they think?

Jordan Johns, 7, of Mayfield Township, took advantage of this week’s snow days to carefully letter his name on Valentine cards for his class at Lynch Elementary. 
Photo by Krystal Johns Jordan Johns, 7, of Mayfield Township, took advantage of this week’s snow days to carefully letter his name on Valentine cards for his class at Lynch Elementary. Photo by Krystal Johns In the end, I was presented a stunning pear-shaped color changing alexandrite (my birthstone) in an infinity setting of palladium, and it suits me perfectly — moody and twisted.

The rest of the wedding planning is going the same way. What do you mean you aren’t choosing colors? No decorations? No CAKE?! Yup, and hardly any guests, no garter tossing, no dancing, and no gifts, either.

What there will be is love in abundance, without a care for how it appears to anyone else.

The entire wedding industry baffles me. So much more emphasis is placed on one day, and the appearance of it to other people, than the rest of the marriage. The photos seem more important than what is actually happening there. Is this why marriages fall apart so often? It’s not the wedding that matters, it’s the marriage.

Love is beautiful in that it is ugly. Of course, there are the roses and rainbows kind of days where you feel untouchable, like no one has ever loved like this before. As if you’ve been allowed access to a secret club the likes of which you’d only heard about in fairy tales. Unfortunately, those are the things that are portrayed as “true love” in the movies and on TV. They are romance, for sure, but I think real love springs from that… or doesn’t.

I’m certainly no expert, but I have had the unique learning opportunity that comes from losing one definition of love, and getting another shot at it. I vow to do better this time.

What I’m still in the process of learning, among many other things, are the following: A big house, new cars and plenty of money don’t have a damn thing to do with love. A pretty picture on the outside can be covering up a murder scene on the inside.

Love makes you want to put someone else’s needs first, and to better yourself so you’re closer to being worthy. It makes you overlook the rat’s nest hair and sock breath, and look at them over breakfast, overcome by a wave of how very lucky you are to have this person in your life. It’s seeing when their dark side is taking over, and giving them the space or support they need to pull them out of the funk. It’s sticking by in the poorer and the sickness, in hopes of achieving the richer and the health together.

It’s that Valentine’s Day feeling, once the roses are dead, and it’s worth a heck of a lot more than a chocolate filled heart.

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