Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest. --C.S. Lewis.
I have the necessary credentials to perform legal marriages, and over the years, I've helped tie a bunch of knots--some tighter than others apparently. This quote (above) by C.S. Lewis is from his book, The Four Loves. I have used the quote in almost every wedding I've ever done because I believe it contains an essential fact in any life-long relationship: the people in the relationship must be not only lovers but friends as well. Don't miss the value of that because it seems so simple.
So in today's post on how to make the most of Valentine's Day, I want to throw out some ideas about celebrating the friendship side of the relationship.
Maybe you've noticed that so far in these posts I haven't mentioned anything about the traditional gifts of the day: chocolates, flowers, jewelry, lingerie, matching bowling balls, etc. Here's a thought though. If you feel you really need to buy roses, buy one, a yellow one, because according to the history and meaning of roses on Pro Flowers website:
"In contrast to the romantic meanings attributed to other roses, the yellow rose is purely a symbol for friendship. This gives it a unique place in the pantheon of roses."
Or try this: give her two roses: a red one and a yellow one, with a card where you write the C.S. Lewis quote along with something like: "Thank you for being my lover and best friend."
Here's another idea. Take the old concept of a mixtape to the next level. For $49 you can buy an iPod Shuffle. They come in a an array of colors. Check it out here. Take the time to pre-load it with a playlist of good music. Be sure to include at least a few "friend" songs along with some romantic tunes. By all means include "You've Got a Friend". It's a classic from 1971, "written by Carole King, and included in her album Tapestry and James Taylor's album Mud Slide Slim, which were recorded simultaneously in 1971 with shared musicians. Taylor's version was released as a single, and reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. "You've Got a Friend" won Grammy Awards both for Taylor (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and King (Song of the Year)."
A few others to consider:
- Bridge Over Troubled Water -- Simon & Garfunkel
- You're My Best Friend -- Queen
- I'll Be There For You -- The Rembrandts
Need a country song, try:
- My Best Friend -- Tim McGraw
Or maybe something of this millennium, try:
- Umbrella – Rihanna
Give her the loaded iPod and the yellow rose and celebrate the friendship.
In case you would like to see the context of the C.S. Lewis quote, here's an excerpt from The Four Loves:
Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend. The rest of us know that though we can have erotic love and friendship for the same person yet in some ways nothing is less like a Friendship than a love-affair. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest. Above all, Eros (while it lasts) is necessarily between two only. But two, far from being the necessary number for Friendship, is not even the best. And the reason for this is important.
... In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets... Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves. Two friends delight to be joined by a third, and three by a fourth, if only the newcomer is qualified to become a real friend. They can then say, as the blessed souls say in Dante, 'Here comes one who will augment our loves.' For in this love 'to divide is not to take away.”