Conversation Hearts…Those adorably damnable ass-tasting little chunks of embossed sugar. I remember first contemplating the existence of these as tokens and expressions of love when I was in late elementary school. Making my batch of valentines for all my classmates, then selecting candies to put in each. That’s where the “huh” started. The words on them prompted an inner dialogue of “Wait, I can’t give that to so-and-so”. Then sorting through the entire box to find there were only 11 acceptably positive messaged hearts. And why would so many of them be stamped with words of doubt and dislike? I was sure the conversation heart industry would dry up and disappear by the time I was an adult and had to deal with the weird feelings each one of those little buggers brought up. But as one candy heart said, “Uh… No”.
Why? Dear God, WHY?? (They need to add that to the standard list of weird conversation heart slogans) I mean, we are taught and reminded that Love is a force of unconditional beauty and grace. Valentine’s Day, the Superbowl for candy hearts, is a day to celebrate Love. Whereas these candies carry messages that are often just as soul-grating and residual as fingernails dragging across a chalkboard. And they kinda taste like that too.
No matter how irritating it was to grow up and be totally wrong about the persistent consumer demand for conversation hearts, that was nothing compared to the realization of the subconscious need they fulfill. I think these are the phrases of fear and doubt that the human condition associates in the face of Love. We don’t know what we are doing… like at all. And these lozenges of cupid poop bring up all the things we could talk about in order to better understand and embrace Love as its own entity and relate how it affects us.
Our neediness, our isolation, our confusion… The mass collective has issues. We know we need to talk more about everything in order to move past our issues and be comfortable in love, with love, and about love. When The Beatles sang “Love Is All You Need”, they were touching on this. We collectively got it backward though. Love isn’t the only thing we need… Love is ALL of our needs met. And we have a lot of needs! We also have a lot of things we don’t need that we permit to block our path toward a strong, healthy relationship with Love. Talking about those issues is a step closer to Love.
In light of this revelation, Conversation Hearts, I owe you an apology. In your own words, “Sorry, Not Sorry”. You are a bitter pill that if put to good use will make this life and the world a better place. I humbly acquiesce to the sublime beauty of the uncomfortable conversation.
P.S. I now believe that in addition to cockroaches, conversation hearts would survive a global catastrophe too. XOXO