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The Et Cetera

The Et Cetera

The Et Cetera

Love doesn’t cost a thing — or does it?

By Keturah Jones

It seems like just yesterday we were filling the malls and running up our credit cards for Christmas, and now Valentine’s Day is already here.
As I walk the aisles of Walgreens and gaze at the candy hearts, giant teddy bears, boxes of chocolate and those annoying stuffed animals singing “Love Shack” and “Crazy in Love,” I begin to wonder what the value of love really is.
Is it a holiday that validates our undying love for that special person, or is it just another shopping spree?
Unfortunately, I can’t say that I have had the pleasure of ever actually celebrating Valentine’s Day.
If love is measured by how much money we spend, then all I have to show for it is a card, a ring that turned my finger green and a promise of dinner that never happened. Does that mean I was loved less?
Perhaps our view of what love is has been tainted by television.
I was watching the reality show “Braxton Family Values,” and Toni Braxton was asked if people should marry for money or love. Her response was that you should marry for financial security and teach yourself to love that person. Shocked by her answer, I envisioned Cupid standing in the unemployment line with a cardboard sign stating, “Will work for love.”
I can recall one relationship where they guy didn’t have the looks of Denzel Washington or the finances of Donald Trump, but he loved me. It didn’t matter whether or not he bought a card with a Hallmark label on the back. It was his words inside that made me love him, and I knew he loved me.
Reality shows, movies and music videos depict love as something that is easily bought.
The Bible’s definition of love is in 1 Corinthians 3:4. The verse defines love as patient and kind. It does not envy or boast, and it is not proud. Webster defines love as strong affection for another.
Not once in these books is love expressed as something based on the amount of money one has.
Is it possible for someone to force him or herself to love someone?
Can love be bought?
I remember, some years ago, someone asked me whether I preferred to be happy and poor or rich and miserable. I felt that whether rich or poor, if I loved someone, I would follow him wherever he went. So I answered that I would choose happiness over wealth.
I believe money can become a factor in any relationship, but it’s a matter of how much importance we put on it.
With the right person, a single rose can have the same impact, if not greater, as a dozen roses. A single kiss to the forehead can be as lasting and memorable as a fancy dinner and a night on the town.
Even though that ring turned my finger green, I wore it proudly every day like it came from Tiffany’s. That ring was a symbol and it represented the love we had for each other. I knew in my heart that, if he could have, he would have bought me the biggest diamond in the world.
Whether rich or poor, love is love, and no holiday can put a price on that.
Love should be measured by our actions, not the transactions of our credit card.

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