Aisle of Love

The sunlight reflected into my eyes as the automatic doors before me opened. Opened to a glory of a heavenly of glittery goodness. I was entering the annual festival of forgotten and untouchable love. I was entering the supermarket in Valentines season. 
As I entered the local market for my weekly purchase of eggs, milk, and Captain Crunch, I was suffocated by a giant bear of unusual size; or BOUS’s for short. The intoxicatingly sweet smell of flowers and chocolate inundated my every pore. 
I was in the Valentine’s zone!! It’s pull was stronger than the gravitational pull of the Earth. I was walking closer and closer to a small plastic container of pink heart shaped cupcakes. Why am I touching them!! I actually don’t like chocolate cake at all. What am I doing? I set that down only to find myself squeezing a stuffed polar bear with a naughty nighty on. My mind was immediately justifying the need and inner deep desire for a dozen roses and a half a pound of prawns. I was sinking fast. I grabbed a stand of school valentine cards and began to pull myself out of the Valentine’s aisle. Boxes of Finding Dory and Hulk children’s valentines trailing behind me. I was caught. A teddy, the size of a human tripped me to the ground and was pulling me back in to the dungeon of Valentine love. Next thing I knew I was being pulled along and offered free chocolate samples by a kind attendant in a red and white stripped dress. A big red heart shaped hat on her head. She was stuffing chocolates into my mouth with my every breath. My basket was now full of a menagerie of zoological creatures dressed in boas and bow ties. My arms weighted down by heart shaped boxes of cheap chocolates. A second basket brimming with floral arrangements second only to a hotel lobby. I broke into a sweat from the sugar rush and adrenaline of moment. Chocolate was smeared all around my mouth. I was in the ‘aisle of love’ and was going to buy every inch of it. 
That’s when a grocery store clerk bumped me, woke me from my day dream, and asked if I could move so he could bring in the parking lot carts. I was still standing in the doorway.  
How silly are we to put hope in one day of the year when we actually do hope for flowers and chocolates. We each hope someone will remember us and bestow upon us love and Mylar balloons. We interpret love as gifts and gifts as love. We know reality. We know that these objects, however delicious, do not show love. 
We also know deep in our hearts that is the time of another human that is truly love. Time. The thing that cannot be purchased but must be truly gifted to another. We long for that time. Yes, we all hope for Valentine’s things, even I, but the reality is what our souls really desire is time with another. The true gift of love. 
I challenge you this Valentine’s Day to give more than you ever have before. Sacrifice the most. Give of your TIME in copious amounts. Hours of time devoted to the one you love. Go on ahead and give those flowers, we all love the flowers and chocolates, but give of yourself first of all. Not just on February 14th, but everyday this week. Turn off that TV. Put down that phone. It is time to truly show deep and meaningful love. Give time. Take the challenge. Give your Valentine hours of uninterrupted…time.  
I left the store that day, not having purchased any love; only milk, eggs, Fruit Loops, and a polar bear in a nighty. 

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