Dear reader. Let me be honest with you, that started as a device. Addressing you was a tool to adopt the tone I was seeking, and a trick to convince myself that maybe, someday, I would have some sort of an audience. “Dear reader” brought an indistinct silhouette to my mind, like the shadowy avatar on a website before you upload a picture. You were the imaginary friend I conjured to ward off the fear and loneliness brought on by broadcasting my approximation of truth into the darkest reaches of internet. And you really helped in these early days of Eleventyone, as I felt out what this site is and what it can be. But it turns out, dear reader, that you are not imaginary at all. You exist. At the other end of a fractal network of dendrites conducting electricity and light, there you are there, reading these words. So on this Valentine’s day I have a confession to make:
I am your secret admirer.
It’s true, I am infatuated by you. I check my web stats all the time, just hoping that you will visit. When you click on a post it makes my heart race. The minutes you spend reading here are a blissful eternity to me. When you comment, my joy knows no bounds. And if you subscribe, dear reader, I swoon.
Too much? Well, there’s more. I got you something. Something in addition to the lovely picture of Benedict Cumberbatch, our house rabbit, which Hazel took and worked her magic on. (Speaking of Hazel, let’s keep this admission of affection between you and me, dear reader. She wouldn’t understand the love that we share.) I didn’t wrap it or anything, but on top of the cute rabbit photo I offer you this gift: the creative license to make this Valentine’s day your own.
Let me explain. Valentine’s is supposed to be about love. It’s become about buying stuff, and for some of us this year it will be about feeling lonely. But it’s just another day, stuck in the middle of the great gray month of February, the shortest and longest month of the year. So this Valentine’s day I’m giving you the right to shape it as you wish.
Why not make it about love? And there are so many forms of love, it’s amazing we expect one word to cover them all. Sure, there is romantic love, which is great, don’t get me wrong. But there is also love for our families and love for our friends. There is love for our pets. There is love for our favorite artists, authors and actors. Plus there’s love for our favorite paintings, books, movies and shows. You can love a place. You can love a time of day. You can even love a meal, or a game, or a hobby. This Valentine’s day you can even take some time to love yourself. You have my permission. It is my gift to you. Make this Valentine’s day your own. Spread some love.