Carpe Diem, Valentine
Today I offer all grown-up readers some Valentine’s Day advice, which is heavily derived from my reading of a book entitled The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love many years ago.
This is the advice: If you enjoy flowers, go out and get yourself some. I don’t care if they cost more today than they will tomorrow—if that bothers you or you don’t have enough money for the big bouquet you’d really like, find yourself one small sweetheart rose, or a little primrose in a pot. If you’re at the point in the long, gray winter when you really want some chocolate, go out and get the kind you like best. There’s an amazing variety of it available right now.
Don’t tell me you can’t afford it; didn’t you buy your child or your pet a little something just the other day? You deserve something nice today. Don’t sit around waiting for anybody else to get it for you. Go out and get it yourself. If you want to share with someone else, fine. But it’s not anyone else’s job to guess what you want and bring it home at the end of the day.
In Jill Conner Browne’s book The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love, she explains why she and her friends decided
“to declare ourselves Queens of whatever we chose. No pageants for us. No way would we ever consider groveling and posturing for a bunch of strangers…in the pitiful hope that, for reasons of their own, they would decide to give us their paltry crown.”
The Sweet Potato Queens, she explains, are “real live grown-up women—self-sufficient and self-actualized. But we were crownless, one and all.” So what did they do? They went out and got themselves crowns and wore them in the local St. Patrick’s Day parade, after which she wrote four books about it.
I say don’t wait until St. Patrick’s Day to provide yourself with some of what you crave. It’s February, for God’s sake. Everyone needs something to help them get through the month.
As Jill says in one of her later books, The Sweet Potato Queens’ Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner, “No matter how bad your childhood was, it’s over. If you didn’t get real majorette boots then, get some now.”
Whatever it is you want, no matter how silly you think it is, find a way to get some of it today.
And if you’d like to read The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love, look for it in your local library–if they don’t have it, then let me know and I’ll see what I can do.