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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Valentine's Day came and went, and it really wasn't that painful, was it? Whether you went to go see "The Vow" or "This Means War," you woke up the next morning, alive and well.

I've been reading "Hector and the Secrets of Love" by Francois Lelord. I didn't plan it, necessarily, to read during the high holiday of young love. But I love me some Hector and I ran with it.

Lelord's a psychiatrist, and he's created his character and the revolving books as a way to narratively explain some of the more complex emotions that humans deal with every day. His first book, "Hector and the Search for Happiness" is one of my favorites.

In "Secrets of Love" Hector finds himself on a mission for the great Professor Cormorant, who we meet briefly in the earlier book. Cormorant was commissioned to develop a new drug that would cause a person to fall in love with whoever they choose. And along the way, of course, he finds himself in various situations that teach him different elements, or "seedlings" of what love truly is.

I'm not going to recite all of his seedlings. But I've noticed a few of my own, namely one. Love must exist between two people.

It sounds obvious, but it's often the most obvious of realizations that we take for granted.

Why not celebrate this? While we're told from a very young age that we need to love every day, but why not take advantage of the day set aside specifically for this purpose?

I am a sucker for holidays, all of them. I love Valentine's Day, and while I understand why some people might not hold the same sentiment, I wonder if it wouldn't make more sense to suck it up and find another way.

If there was ever a day to take your cousin to the school dance, this would be the one. I would love to see the man who walks into a restaurant with his sister on his arm, just because he loves her.

We're so saturated with what love should be. Each relationship has its place. Moms and Dads have their day, families in general are relegated to Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that's all well and good. But we've come to see day of love as reserved for the romantics. And while it's sweet, it's not necessarily correct.

I would hate to see the day that a pill dictates who and what is important in our lives. Lelord isn't the first to write this concept, and I doubt he'll be the last. And we can talk about St. Valentine and forbidden love. But think of it from the perspective of the saint: What kind of man risks his own life for the happiness of others? A man in love.

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Kate Padilla