Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

All You Need is Love

with 15 comments

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.
It’s easy.

Nothing you can make that can’t be made.
No one you can save that can’t be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.
It’s easy.

All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.

“All You Need is Love,” The Beatles, Lennon/McCartney, Parlophone 1967.


I hate Valentine’s Day.   There, I said it. I hated it when I was a spinster (hate that word too) and I still hate it now.  That is a lot of hate for a day that purports to be about love.
It isn’t about love though, it is about crass commercialism.  A day when we feel lonely if we don’t have a significant other.  And if we do, we feel bad if we don’t buy our loved one an expensive gift, or go out for a meal that costs three times the usual price.  Really, if you’re in love, you should be showing that every single day, not waiting for a cheesy romantic occasion.  In our house, my husband is the romantic one.  I told him to never buy me anything for Valentine’s Day, not even a card, and I meant it.  I’m the Ebeneezer Scrooge of this day.  Bah, Hallmark!

I never even liked Valentine’s Day as a teenager.  Admittedly, I was a mousy-haired, flat-chested, glasses-wearing (when forced to), braces-wearing, skinny little nerd, so the odds weren’t really in my favour, and I knew that.  But what if I hadn’t got it?  What if I’d been unable to interpret the mixed messages of Valentine’s Day?  Earlier I googled “Valentine’s Day” and “autism” and it came up with a link for a social story about Valentine’s Day that was aimed at adolescents on the spectrum.  It described socially appropriate touching, ways you can tell loved ones that you care about them, developing feelings about certain people, and the specifics of card giving and receiving.  Awesome, right?

No!  Because even this came with a price tag of $9.95.  If anything is going to be tough for our kids, and really, LOTS of things are going to be tough for them, navigating the minefield of romance and social appropriateness is going to be the worst.  Add in the novelty and break from routine you get on a holiday, and the ensuing sensory overload, and I’m just downright offended.  Even here we can’t have a free service?  I’m okay with charging exorbitant amounts for flowers and jewelry, people don’t need those, but an adolescent teenager could get themselves into a world of trouble, confusion, and heartache, simply by not being able to understand another person’s intentions.

So yes, I hate it.

Nonetheless, I just assembled 11 Valentine’s cards for Pudding to take to her cupid party tomorrow at school.  I think it is stupid that even preschoolers are sucked into the ritual.  And she gets hyped-up enough on sugar at Halloween, Christmas, and Easter; not to mention candy reinforcers in her classroom and speech therapy.  I don’t like it, but I don’t have to.  It isn’t about me.  Just like the time I made the s’mores, this is another quintessential American experience.  If there is a treat involved, she’ll like it.  And if she wants to do it, I’ll make it happen for her, just like any other day.  There is nothing she can do that can’t be done.

One day I know I’ll have to explain Valentine’s Day and what it means.  I might even use a social story, but I absolutely refuse to pay a penny to anyone trying to make a profit.  She can learn how to play the game, though it probably won’t be as easy as The Beatles promised.  I hope I’ll be able to convey to her that a relationship isn’t validated by the things you buy one another at a prescribed time.  Love is spontaneous, and timeless and worthy of being celebrated every single day.  Even if you just do that by bringing a cup of tea in bed in the morning.

Still, she’ll inevitably come to her own conclusions, just like her daddy, who left me a box of chocolates this morning.  Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.  It’s easy.

Love is all you need.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

15 Responses

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  1. so to take a line from you…I knew you were awesome but now I love you for that first line 🙂
    hate this holiday, and hate it more now that I have a kid with food allergies and social “issues”.
    can I come eat those chocolates with you?


    February 14, 2011 at 7:13 am

    • But of course! I’m not known for my tendency to share chocolate, but I’ll make an exception in your case. At least that would halve the calories, which I really don’t need at the moment.
      I should have mentioned that Pudding’s teacher emailed all the parents to notify them of all the kids’ allergies, but I still don’t want to play.

      Spectrummy Mummy

      February 14, 2011 at 7:19 am

  2. You sound like me….. hate the “Hallmark Holiday”!! but my kids love it – actually if it involves presents or chocolate, they’re on board!! Just go with the flow and if people choose today to show their othewise hidden fondness for people, I guess it can’t be that bad!! Have a Happy Valentines Day!!


    February 14, 2011 at 7:53 am

  3. You quite possibly could be my sister from another continent… or maybe it’s just the “spinster” in me 😉 Regardless, have a great day! Might as well indulge in some chocolate, it is there and all!


    February 14, 2011 at 8:43 am

    • That was the worst of it- that before I met Spectrummy Daddy, everyone assumed I hated it because I was a bitter spinster! Not at all. Though clearly there should be a Spinster Day where you get to revel in sleeping diagonally across the bed, sole control of the remote, and a toilet seat that stays down. 😉

      Spectrummy Mummy

      February 14, 2011 at 11:02 am

  4. Amen! Do you know that Dickson and I have NEVER celebrated this day?! Not even when we were new and all lovey dovey. This has always seemed like the stupidest holiday on the planet. And there’s some commercial this year where the man buys the woman (notice it’s never the other way around) some piece of shiny, expensive jewelry and what does she say? “That’s how I know I’m loved”! AGGHHHHHHH!!!! WTF? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Ugh…

    OK..here endeth the rant. 🙂


    February 14, 2011 at 8:57 am

    • I know, it is just a relationship tax where the man has to pay his dues once a year, then can go back to feigning indifference the rest of the time. A little harsh, but those commercials really annoy me, not to mention all the merchandise they try to peddle. Interesting I haven’t yet had a comment defending the day…

      Spectrummy Mummy

      February 14, 2011 at 11:04 am

  5. I really enjoyed this post, I can’t stand Valentine’s day either. love and hugs. xx 🙂


    February 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    • Does anybody actually like it? I hope all your days are filled with love and hugs anyway!

      Spectrummy Mummy

      February 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      • I don’t think anyone does really do they, just no one wants to say…good on you for starting us all off.
        Oh and yep…I get plenty of love and hugs and lots of sloppy wet doggie kisses too…giggle.
        I’m only kiddin, my family are very loving. love and hugs. xx 🙂


        February 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm

  6. i guess i’ve never had any strong feelings about Valentine’s Day. there were 4 girls in my family, and i remember that my father would always write a card to each of us. it always made me feel special and loved. but it was never necessarily about the day, it was just another way for him to show us he cared. my husband has picked up the tradition with our girls, and for Hope today i think it eased the sting of not being able to eat chocolate, cookies and cupcakes at school. (she’s allergic to everything!)


    February 14, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    • Aaw, that is sweet.

      The obligatory holiday parties are annoying for us too. I sent in some kettle corn she can eat to share, but it must be hard watching their friends get to eat all the other goodies.

      Spectrummy Mummy

      February 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

  7. […] valentine’s day – No. […]

  8. […] is the long overdue L installment of my A-Z series.  If you think I’m a little hypocritical for writing a love post on Valentine’s Day, just remember that my only constancy is how fickle I am, but I really do love you every day of the […]

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