Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Virtual Valentine

I can't tell you how excited I am this week, and getting more agitated the closer we get to the western world's love culture--known even in kindergarten circles as--St. Valentine's Day. Heralded in the stores with love tokens right after New Year's, it gives retailers an early boost and the rest of us something to celebrate. We Utahns get through our winters honoring all the celebrations we can dig up out of the snow. And of course nothing says love more eloquently than the holiday venerated around the world. But I digress.

My excitement stems not from the fact that I am in a relationship with a boyfriend/lover/husband. No, if I focused on my divorced singlehood with any energy I might actually get a little depressed. But you see, the virtual world has given those of us without significant others a lifeline to capture our hearts within the labyrinth of cybergames. Yes folks, I'm talking about FarmVille. Again. You do know that's where I am when I'm not here with you (which probably explains why there is no significant other)?

The caring folks at Zynga have generously given us farmers the expanding mailbox. Lovers/friends/families/total strangers befriended for just such purposes--send you cuddly teddy bears, love letters, heart-shaped chocolate boxes and flowers JUST FOR YOU. Now, from a technical standpoint the gifts give you cash, fuel to run your tractors (how romantic!) experience points to level you up in the game, and sometimes random surprises (here's a horse guys!). The more feverishly you monitor your friend's/families's/stalker's activity feeds, the more you collect these romantic trinkets.

Suddenly your mailbox is brimming over and you are harvesting the fruits of love. See, that's what this does, you start to feel so popular (I know, right?) because they even have some kind of competition thing going, where you are ranked. Just think how loving you feel when you are compared to someone you care about (well, at least, have included in your Facebook enclave), and are told you have more Valentine's gifts than they do and therefore are more loved/loveable than your neighbors! Yeah, because competition always brings out the compassionate side of humanity.

But there is something about the egoic mind structure that gets incredibly excited at the thought that with every gift, someone actually thought about YOU (enough to send you cyber-crap!) and to the mind, that translates to LOVE. And I have fallen for it; wallowing in the deliciousness of my mailbox valentines. I feel shamelessly giddy because my FarmVille mailbox is littered with so much Valentiney-hearts-and-flowers junk that I am practically melting with the thought of all that love. Which kinda makes up for the whole singlehood thing. Because I am obviously that shallow.

Of course, most of the gifts come from my kids and friends, there's no actual romance involved, but it still feels good. And so you have to wonder, how can something that isn't even real mean anything? Especially something so meaningful as L-O-V-E? Yet freakishly, it does. It brings me to a hearty state of gratitude, and that feels--emulating my FarmVille pigs--worth wallowing in.

For some actual heartfelt thoughts on gratitude, join Susan Mazrolle as she talks about experiencing gratitude in grief as well as joy. As she says, "A grateful heart cries; a grateful heart laughs. A grateful heart is open." And that my friends, is real.

Happy Valentine's Day to you. May your hearts be filled with joy and ...


  1. is one of my favorite sites. I'm grateful for the laugh you've given me today, and for you as a blog buddy.

  2. There's nothing wrong with finding love and happiness in any way that makes you personally happy. Sorry I'm late here, but you know what a hard time I have loading you! Hope you had a good valentines day.

  3. Deb, Linda: What would I do without my blog buddies? Love you for making me ponder and laugh and feel! Thank you for stopping by and making me smile.

  4. "ecause my FarmVille mailbox is littered with ... melting with the thought of all that love. Which kinda makes up for the whole singlehood thing."

    I'm sorry, Bathtime Blogger, but I'm still laughing at those lines.

    Here's a heartfelt, albeit late, Happy Valentine to you.

  5. Just got your message. Haven't been able to get out to the cabin due to baseball, etc. Also, colder than dog here. By the time it gets heated up out there, time to leave. My hammock is buried in the Man Shed until June. Hope all is well with you. (Read this morning and swam 3/4 mile. Perhaps concentration has returned.)

    Hope all is well with you.

  6. Hi Lorna,
    I don't have much time to read, but I just wanted to drop by your blog and thank you for visiting mine and commenting. It means a lot to me. I hope you're well.

  7. Julie: love the line 'colder than dog here'! Can't wait to see a summer photo on your blog of you swinging in that hammock!

    Ron: you are so welcome; know that I love your blog and the way your pictures provoke me to see the world beyond my own front door. Love the perspective and seeing that we are all one big family sharing this planet.