What is love?
Baby don't hurt me.
Don't hurt me.
I'm not trying to take credit for the chorus of Haddaway's "famous" song. I guess it depends on who is asked if this would be considered famous or infamous. I still cannot get the image of Chris Katan and Will Ferrell from "A Night at the Roxbury" out of my head every time I think of this song. I'm also one of nine people on the planet who like that movie, and I'm still uncertain why.
Will Ferrell probably never had his name in the same sentence with Valentine's Day ... until now. Actually, he has nothing to do with this column. The problem under scrutiny is why love does hurt, and if it does, then why is it celebrated?
Google had plenty of answers to my question. People on the Web say a range of things, from love doesn't hurt, the absence of love does, to "A Night at the Roxbury" is a terrible movie. I hope I don't have to believe both of these statements.
Others have even gone so far as to find love on the Internet. From someone who has first-hand knowledge of this, it's not bad to try, but don't hold your breath. And definitely DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH WHILE READING THIS COLUMN!
Everyone has a friend who has a cousin who has a friend who fell in love with someone online. It does happen, just not as often as, say, you receive a new credit card offer in the mail.
So if love isn't on the Internet (it might be, but for the sake of argument, let's pretend love is the only thing you CANNOT find online), where is love? Well here's where my experience again comes to rescue a strange beginning to a column.
Without sounding like your grandma, Delilah or that overzealous nun on the faith channel, love is everywhere. You cannot see it, but you can feel it. Oops, I accidentally sounded like Reginald Kenneth Dwight, otherwise known as Elton John. Maybe I should change the subject, or at least get rid of these ridiculous sunglasses I'm wearing.
Seriously, love creeps up on you at the weirdest times and won't let go, no matter how hard you try. And how do I know that's what love is? Because love doesn't disappear. You can try to make it go away. You can throw it a stick and try to hide when it retrieves it. But that doesn't work. Of course, you shouldn't want to throw love out the door. I mean I hope it got at least some of us here in the first place.
An easy way to test if you really, really love someone is to do the following: Imagine a world without that person. If you shudder, even trying to think about it, and you can't breathe, and you never want that feeling to ever happen, you probably love them. It's possible you could also be starving and just got kicked in the stomach, so make sure you perform this test during normal circumstances. Also make sure the radio is not on because hearing "Crocodile Rock" brings out similar emotions.
When love exists, everything seems great. And when love escapes, the world becomes a dark, Gotham City-like place, with evil lurking around every corner, unless you live in a circular area that doesn't have corners.
This, of course, brings us to the real reason of this column, which is about not letting love go. I'm not saying you should never let a particular love go. Love stays inside and can exude from you at any given time. Even in the dimmest situations, there is always something, or someone, to be loved.
While love comes and goes like public transportation, that's no reason to be deterred from showing some sort of gratitude toward those who are loved. My mom and my dad have made it a ritual to send me, my brother and my sister something every Valentine's Day since we've been away from home. Hopefully you are in a situation that you can let someone know how much you love them this Valentine's Day. Even if you can't, surely they will know that if you could, you would do anything on earth for them.
Well, as long as that anything doesn't include attending an Elton John concert. Now if Haddaway were to tour again, that would be a completely different story.