“A kiss without a hug is like a flower without the fragrance.” — proverb
Ah, young love. The sweet nothing, whispered. The sinuous embrace, held. The public display of affection, obliviously offered and slyly viewed.
All this is good and well. Still, with apologies to George Bernard Shaw, we must ask, Why is the innocence of love so wasted on the young? Swept away in torrents of hormones—like this young Juliet and her ardent Romeo entwined next to the Golden Gate Bridge—youth cascade easily into love, tumbling romantically onward without knowledge of destination or fear of emotional wreckage.
When we’re older, though, when our complicated adult lives often need some amorous simplicity, love looks before it leaps. Wiser and wearing the scars incurred in rocky relationships, love commits more cautiously—if at all. The wild abandon of adolescence is replaced by the familiar moderation of maturity. Unfair it may be, but true it is.
February provides an opportunity to reverse the equation. Two can equal one when love is in the air—or at least in the bouquets of roses, bottles of cologne and boxes of nuts and chews that will change hands on Valentine’s Day. Love favors the bold, whether young or old. So, if carpe diem—seize the day—is a good catchphrase for a life well lived, now’s your chance to modify it for a love well felt: Carpe hug ’em!