Life Deconstructed: Real love should be shown daily, not just on a holiday

Life Deconstructed - Maria Jiunta Heck

I’m back, and crankier than ever.

Apologies in advance. I missed you all desperately. I love you. But you know what I don’t love?

Valentine’s Day.

This non-holiday is just a whole bunch of ludicrousness. What began as a day to honor Saint Valentine morphed into a tsunami of extraneous proclamations of adoration and dashed expectations for decades. Mind you, the poor sap was executed. We are celebrating an execution!

When did a holiday honoring a martyred saint become one in which men run around the mall, sweating and farting and panicking because they need the perfect Valentine’s Day gift at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 14?

I want to hand out boxes of conversation hearts to these pathetic homosapiens that read: “Empty the dishwasher if you want to turn her on,” “Victoria’s Secret is for rookies,” “What she really wants is a nap.”

And, please, for the love of Pete, why is the representative for this day a baby in a diaper with a bow and arrow? I mean, at least Santa and the Easter Bunny have street cred. Cupid is just creepy. I’m the only one I know who should be sporting a diaper these days.

I loathe Valentine’s Day. I loathe it because of my own husband’s 30-plus years filled to the brim with utter lack of interest in any celebration of love. Witness this recent conversation from my darling betrothed: “Oh crap! Valentine’s Day again? God, such a stupid holiday. I think I’m going out with Vinnie for wings that night. You aren’t expecting anything, right?”

Oh, yes. I am expecting to punch him in the conversation hearts. That’s what I’m expecting.

My friend Jen was uber-excited about her Valentine’s Day treat for her husband. She is paying real money — not bit-coins — to have a roach named after him at the Bronx Zoo. A Madagascar roach, she is quick to point out. Like it matters. This is a thing, people. This is how far down the food chain we’ve fallen. Naming roaches. Is there a hidden message here? I think there is. And the message is this: Valentine’s Day is stupid.

What if someone is not in a relationship on Valentine’s Day? Why should they be made to feel less than anyone else? Are there greeting cards for those strong, independent women who don’t need a man to make their life come full circle? They enclose their own circles, and creepy Cupid should applaud them, not make them feel lonely and incomplete on Feb. 14.

Instead of one day a year on which to show our adoration to our people, we need to demonstrate love daily. It’s that simple. Some humans, like Nancy, have a hard time displaying outward signs of admiration and worship. But this is what he does do: He shovels out my car and defrosts the windows, he makes me coffee every morning, he lets me have the TV every night a Real Housewife is showing and he sticks around through the hard stuff.

Real love is not one day a year. It is all-encompassing and non-denominational. It is an equal-opportunity emotion. Love is apparent in the everyday scenarios. Sometimes, we just really need to squint and read between the life-lines to get it. “I love you” can be heard from the smallest gestures to the grandest demonstrations.

And, for me, I felt the love from all of you these past six months, waiting for me to return. I love you back. From Nancy, I feel his love when he remembers to bring me a pallet of Panera bagels each Tuesday. From my kids, I feel the love every time they call me and ask my opinion about anything; from sneakers to dryer sheets, to life and then ask for my credit card number.

Love can be blind, deaf and dumb.

But it is also what gets me up in the morning and puts me to sleep at night. It’s also what propelled me back to you.

Good-bye Saint Valentine’s Day. Hello, everyday love.

Life Deconstructed

Maria Jiunta Heck

Maria Jiunta Heck, of West Pittston, is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at

Maria Jiunta Heck, of West Pittston, is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at