No, I have never had a kiss that began with "Kay"

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Don't fall for that sappy slogan.

You don't have to go to a jewelry store to be kissable.

My husband knows that jewelry means nothing to me. I rarely wear my wedding ring. However, that silver bangle from Mexico never leaves my left wrist.

I cringe every time I see those awful, heart-shaped diamond necklaces arrive, on schedule, behind jewelry counters every February. Those poor unsuspecting husbands and boyfriends spending their hard-earned money on cheesy symbols of love. You can do better. Mr. Clean gets what women really long for.

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It's Valentine's Day, the day of hearts and love. Now that, I can handle.

Whether you are single, attached, bitter, married, alone in a nursing home, down on your luck or in third grade, everyone needs to feel loved.

Valentine's Day is a reminder to open your beating heart and speak the words, "I Love You," freely. It's too bad we can't keep that affection alive all year long like we attempt to do with the charity, spirit and hope of the Christmas season. Sadly, that can often be dragged outside to the curb along with the dried up Christmas tree on January 3rd.

But let's give it a try, shall we?

If you are lucky enough to have children, give them a few extra minutes of your time and tell them how much you love them and how they rock your world. Give concrete examples not just vague statements.

Something like this:

"I love it when you use Biscuit (shelter dog) as a warm, furry pillow while you are doing your reading homework on the floor in the den."

"I love it when you bounce off your bike, run in through the back door and your hair smells like fresh air and Oreos."

To express your love, you don't need to spend money on expensive singing greeting cards or overpriced roses. Cards are often tossed in the garbage after a few days. Well, some very sentimental ones are kept in sock drawers for decades.

Just write a short note to your loved one (or ones) using your own words. Doodle a red heart on it. Heck, draw a cartoon on a chewing gum wrapper for your high school sweetheart and eventually get married like they do in that Extra gum commercial. Gets to me every time.

The point is, if your words are personal and heart-felt, it will be more meaningful than anything Hallmark has to say.

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

William Shakespeare

Tulips can be bought by the bunch for around six dollars at Jewel and are much more splendid than roses that will most likely be dead by the 17th. As an added bonus, they will make you think of spring. If no one brings you flowers, splurge and buy a bouquet for yourself. You are your own best Valentine.

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If you don't have a significant other, you probably have a friend or two that you love. Tell them on Tuesday. Do you have a hard time saying those words out loud? Many people do. However, the more you practice saying them, the easier it becomes. When you see the look on their face you may become tempted to say it more often. They may be shocked and think you're a bit weird, but I guarantee they will stand a little taller and feel marvelous for at least 453 days.

Men need to be told they are loved just as much as women. Sometimes more.

When was the last time you told your father you loved him? I hope last night.

Children need to be told every day. Ideally multiple times a day.

 

Love doesn't sit there like a stone;

it has to be made like bread;

remade all of the time, made new.

Ursula Le Guin

I would love an enormous, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. I am a sucker for those. Especially a mixed assortment with the description of what nut, cream or fruit is buried underneath that dark shell. You can choose your favorites first and leave the half-eaten pieces to enjoy later in March after your Girl Scout cookies are gone.

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Have a favorite UPS driver or a barista that decorates your latte foam with a decorative leaf? Tell them how much you appreciate them and what they do for you has value in your life. You don't have to love them, but I kind of do. Especially our UPS driver delivering assorted packages after an Amazon Prime shopping binge. He's been on this route for twenty years and is always so damn nice. Whenever I see his truck on the road, it makes me smile.

Make it a priority to call your grandmother in her assisted living apartment and reminisce about her dancing the fox trot at your wedding.

What about that snarly neighbor who trims trees with his chainsaw at 7:30 in the morning on weekends? Bring him a loaf of banana bread tied with a red ribbon.

There is this "kindness" movement going around and God knows we need it, especially now.

Valentine's Day is a time to step back and shower your love on those you hold dear.

Let's remember to do that every day, not just on February 14th.

Be kind. Be a Valentine.

 

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