Valentine's Day Has a Troubling Side

woman on beach resizedHere’s hoping that you have a great Valentine’s Day full of love and affection. Unfortunately, there are some for whom Valentine’s Day is not a happy day at all.

In one newsletter by Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound, two troubling concerns are associated with Valentine’s. First there are the wives and children who are victims of violence and abuse for whom Valentine’s Day is just another day of fear, dread and anxiety. Sheryl Cates, Executive Director of the National Domestic Violence Hotline reminds us in a Dear Abby column that these victims were hurt by people who said they loved them.

Then there are the cheaters who get caught on Valentine’s Day because they have to show up for both their lovers and spouses too. A Wall Street Journal article points out that this is why Valentine’s Day is a banner day for private investigators.

Most people don’t associate infidelity with Valentine’s Day, but it is such a sure bet that cheaters will be caught bearing gifts to the “other” person that this year will be the 8th Annual Valentine’s Day Infidelity Awareness Campaign. This campaign was started by Ruth Houston, Infidelity Columnist for Her goal is to heighten public awareness of the connection between Valentine’s Day and infidelity, to call media attention to this seldom-discussed side of Valentine’s Day and to alert suspicious lovers that Valentine’s Day is the best time to get tangible proof of a cheating lover.

Out of this cheating sometimes grows enterprise. One writer was so upset at catching her husband cheating on Valentine’s Day that she started a website, to give advice on revenge, she says, so that you can bring happiness and humor back to your life.

Old-fashioned investigative techniques have been joined by high tech tools that help nail cheaters. The $199 Spark Nano Real-Time GPS Tracking Device is a 3-inch gadget that can easily be hidden in a car and broadcasts its location to a system that is accessible through the Web.

The pricier tool, the $497.50 Spy Matrix Pro, is a popular GPS for folks who worry about cheating spouses. Retailers of high tech tracking tools such as this report a spike in sales around Valentine’s Day.

Some cheaters fail to realize the long memories and far reach of social media and make catching them just too easy. When New York Republican Congressman, Christopher Lee, recently sought to hook up with a woman on Craigslist, he not only lied to her about his marital status and job, but he even sent a shirtless photo of himself. After doing a little research on him (apparently he failed to lie about his name) she learned not only that he was a sitting Congressman, but that he was very married with one child. The story spread across the media with lightening speed and lead Lee to resign within hours after it hit the news.

The syndicated reality TV show, Cheaters, that supposedly investigates and confronts cheating mates has been accused of being scripted. After a number of participants revealed that they were paid to help stage confrontations and even the stabbing of the host, we have discovered that this show, alas, has cheated.

With the overwhelming emphasis and money spent on Valentine’s Day, many have decided to attach less significance to the day. Many without mates choose to enjoy time with friends and family rather than pine over lost loves or long for the perfect mate.

The most troubling part of Valentine’s Day is that it’s the least romantic day of the year since so many commemorate it with chocolate and flowers out of obligation rather than celebration of love.

Love is kind. Love shouldn’t hurt.

“Love doesn’t make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” – Elizabeth Browning

“Love is friendship set on fire.” – unknown

“To laugh often and love much… to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one’s self… this is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The best place to start seeking love is to love yourself. Then express your love and appreciation in words and deeds for those around you everyday, not try to heap it all on a day urged upon you by retailers. You can still celebrate Valentine’s Day, of course, but in your own creative way with people with whom you share genuine and requited love all year long.

One Thing Happy People Do

From flickr

From flickr

I recently asked my customers to answer a few questions about their experiences with my book, Color Your Life Happy. Here are responses that customer Billie Horowitz, was kind enough to share:

What motivated you to purchase Color Your Life Happy?

I have been on a journey to a more fulfilling life for a very long time and the title of your book has been inspirational. Each book I read brings me closer to understanding myself.

What life lesson have you learned or change have you made as a result of reading my book?

Your book has reinforced my belief that I am on the right path to the experiences I want to experience.

Who seems to the ideal kind of person to benefit from my book?

Those who are looking for “Who Am I” and have not quite figured out it’s an inside job!

What is your favorite feature of my book?

My favorite feature is Chapter Five “Simplifying Life” Page 110 -111. This story is a perfect example of allowing other people [to] dictate what life is best for you when you already have what you want or need.


Here is the story Billie refers to from Chapter 5 of Color Your Life Happy. It is similar in spirit to the philosophy of the Chinese philosopher, Chuang Tzu.

An American tourist stood at the pier of a small coastal Mexican
village and watched as a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The tourist
complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his catch
and asked how long it had taken to catch them.

The fisherman replied, “Only a little while.”

The tourist asked, “Then why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”

The Mexican said, “With this, I have more than enough to support my family’s needs.”

The tourist asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, and stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The tourist scoffed.

“ I can help you. You should spend more time fishing and use the proceeds to buy a bigger boat.

With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats.

Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you could sell directly to the processor and open your own cannery. Then you would control the product, processing and distribution.

You could leave this small village and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles and eventually to New York, where you
could run your ever-expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this take?”

The tourist replied, “Fifteen to twenty years.”

“But what then?” asked the Mexican.

The tourist laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich – you would make millions.”

“Millions? Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Happy people appreciate and embrace the simple things of life.

Like the American tourist in the story, do you long for a simpler life, but believe you can only have it in some distant future?

The truth is, of course, that you can have it now.

Maybe you already do.

A Key Piece of Happiness: Appreciation

Isn’t it wonderful when we hear a simple truth expressed openly?

That’s the way I felt when I heard the short talk by Laura Trice about the importance of saying thank you and telling our loved ones that we need to hear it.

Like many of us, you may not have gotten the thanks and appreciation you want and need, but you can give and get it now.

Listen to Laura and see if you agree. Then leave your comment below.