By MATT CRANE
One of two things is going to happen this Thursday: you will either be sitting across from the person you love enjoying a lovely, candlelit meal or you will be curled up on the couch with a gallon of Ben and Jerry's watching "The Notebook" for the 17th time. Why will either of things be happening? Thursday is Valentine's Day — a day for love and chocolate or bitterness and chocolate, depending on your particular romantic situation.
In my research, I came across an article highlighting the four words the ancient Greeks used to use when describing love: Agape, Philia, Storge and Eros.
Agape is used to describe those feelings of deep affection and true love, like when actually say to another human, "I love you." Agape is what we all strive for in this world. Sure there are things like success or shelter or food and water that we all cannot live without, but true love is one of the most important things that we associate with being a complete person. We all want to be loved, whether we deny it or not.
Some of us will spend our entire lives looking for a soul mate. Some of us have found that soul mate and lost him or her to a death. If you have found that person, hold on tight and do not let him or her get away. If you are still looking, do not give up. I am foolish optimist who believes love is out there for everyone.
Philia is probably my favorite iteration of love in the Greek language because it describes the intense love of friendship. I am a loyal friend to those in my life. While my adventures in the romantic realm have never been too successful, I am always comforted and encouraged by the deep love I have for my friends, and I am lucky enough to have that love reciprocated. If you happen to be alone this Valentine's Day, go out with your friends. Who says this valentine hoopla has to be about couples? Gather several of your closest single friends and have a night out. No one ever said your friends cannot be your soul mates.
Storge is the kind of love you feel towards your family. I have a lot of storge in my heart. My family has a saying — "We don't leave our people."
In essence, it means we are always there no matter what. Thick or thin, right or wrong, the Cranes and Hodges are a tight knit group who might fight and yell at each other from time to time, but the second an outsider messes with one of our own — watch out. Family love is a fierce love, and even if the only Valentine's Day card you get is from your mom — who cares. It's the thought that counts and it cannot be worse than the year my mom sent me a card and the chocolate she included in the envelope was too heavy and the regular mailing cost did not cover the extra weight.
That is right, dear readers. One particular Valentine's Day, I had to pay $.20 to the United State Postal Service for a Valentine's Day card…from my mom.
The last one is Eros which means erotic love. You can all write your own stories for this one.
No matter what or who comes into your life this year for Valentine's Day, love yourself. And eat chocolate. Happy early Valentine's Day.