At MBL, We Love Love
February is a tricky month: grey, dark, short — and then there’s Valentine’s Day.
It took me a while to get on board with Valentine’s Day. I mean, look, we all know it’s a made-up holiday whose sole intent is to sell shit, right? But it persists, and once I learned to adjust my perspective I got kinda into it.
As a teen, I hated Valentine’s Day. I never had any romantic prospects and as much as I loved chocolate I felt I had to pretend I didn’t care about it (gotta perpetuate the myth of the ‘good fat kid,’ right?).
It took pivoting my focus to my female friends, all of whom were and are truly excellent people, for me to begin to see how the holiday was geared toward everything I loved: pink and red, hearts and flowers, chocolate and candy, and gushy expressions of earnest emotion.
Of course, it helped to find a partner and stop feeling so left out, but even now that I’m married, I still think of VDay as an opportunity to celebrate the non-romantic loves of my life, the people who made me feel special and valued despite any interest (or lack thereof) from boys. The bottom line for me is that love comes into our lives in many forms, and if we can recognize and appreciate it in all those forms we’ll be better off for it.
Oh, and another great love of my life? A theme. I love a bit of structure and guidance — as a writer and as an editor—and when we received this month’s story in our submissions inbox I knew it would be perfect for this weird, contentious, ultimately love-focused month.
Shivers is a story about love, but more importantly it’s a story about possibility. That buzz we feel when we meet someone exciting, and that person seems interested in us too. It’s not about long-term monogamy or first dates or anything so concrete — it’s about electricity and hope and potential. And that’s what we love about it, because it reminds us of the good parts of being young and single and seeking. And it’s also light and funny, which goodness knows most of us need right now.
So whether you love a good romance story or hate Valentine’s Day and are glad February is almost over, I bet you’ll enjoy this story. I hope it reminds you that possibility is always waiting, and that perfection is overrated, and that connection of all kinds is what matters most (though a nice set of pecs is always a bonus, if you’re into that kind of thing).