Sex and the Chester: The Definition of Love

By Alyssa Velazquez
Elm Columnist

Every Sunday, I wake up, start my little black Mr. Coffee machine, and settle into my pajamas. Only after I have a cup of coffee in hand do I sit down at my desk to type away on my laptop keys in order to meet my Monday deadline, hoping that along the way, in-between the transaction of my thoughts and my computer screen, earth-shattering words of wisdom on love will spurt forth.

This past Sunday, with a topic already in mind, I opened Microsoft Word in hopes of achieving my sought-after “love enlightenment,” but before my dorm room could be filled with the melody of pressed keyboard keys, I caught sight of a book on my desk. My mom recently bought me Jennifer Love Hewitt’s book “The Day I Shot Cupid.”

Skeptical of Hewitt’s intellect and always a little wary of self-help love books, I had yet to read it. Perhaps it was my exhaustion with writing end-of-the-semester papers that prompted me to begin reading the book, but as I began flipping through the chapters, a phrase caught my attention.

The section was entitled, “What does love mean?” and after reading it, I couldn’t help but smile. Here was the piece on the philosophy of love that I had been searching for— and it came from a group of children.

Instead of writing on my intended subject matter for the last article of the semester, I decided to share with you what I read in the most unlikely of places, under very unlikely circumstances, and from the most unlikely individuals. They put into words what we tend to only feel, yet can never really express, and I think that’s the perfect way to end.

What Does Love Mean?

A group of Professionals posed this question to a group of four-to-eight-year-olds. The answers they received were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined:

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”

-Rebecca, age 8

“When somebody loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”

-Billy, age 4

“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”

-Terri, age 4

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”

-Bobby, age 7

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