A funny thing happened to me during my shift at the Park Slope Food Coop this past weekend.

Backstory: In coop lingo, I work checkout. This role serves the same function as in a regular grocery story except members pack their own bags; I just scan the items and process the payment method. For me, it’s the perfect assignment: It engages my curiosity about people, in general, and their choices, in particular.

Peacock Feathers & ATM Receipts…Oh My

Before I can begin scanning anyone’s items, I first need to scan their coop card or a slip of paper with their member number. Instead of the card or this slip of paper, the gentleman I was “checking” out inadvertently gave me his ATM receipt. After a chuckle, he gave me what I needed and I “checked” him out. But as he was boxing up his groceries he said, “You didn’t catch it. I was trying to show you my networth…”

I laughed so loud that my good friend and shift-mate standing at the register next to mine gave me a quizzical look. When he left and I told her what happened and what he said, her comment was, “Oh, he’s smooth.” That made me laugh even more because I TOTALLY missed his signal. And the imagery that eventually came to mind was of a peacock fanning out his feathers.

As you know, a peacock shows his feathers to capture the attention of a peahen. And his bright, colorful feathers are a big deal — they are what a peahen uses to determine if he’s a suitable mate for her.

When a peacock opens his feathers, it’s not just a mating call. Because the feathers are heavy and require effort to care for them, the peacock is letting the peahen also know he’s attentive and strong — he’s saying, in essence, “Choose me. I’m better than the other males.”

In other words, the peacock is strutting his stuff! Are you?

Unpacking a Gesture

I don’t know if the coop guy was really serious or if he just chose a fun way to play off an innocent mistake of sharing his ATM receipt. I do know his gesture provides SOOOO much for you and I to talk about. It’s like opening a pandora’s box for juicy conversations about love, money, values, priorities, etc. which are all “mating calls” in their own right.

And where there is a conversation to be had, there is an opportunity for exploration about human nature, interaction, and connection. Especially as it pertains to the upcoming holiday we celebrate next week that you either love to love or love to hate.

Whether you’re coupled up or single and loving it or single and wanting to be in a relationship, join me in using this Valentine’s Day to strut your stuff…a little differently. Here’s what I mean and what I’d love for you to consider:

  • What are you doing to get and give attention (beyond just this day)?
  • Are you getting your needs met? Are you meeting the needs of others?
  • What are you communicating clearly and directly; what are you hoping someone “gets;” what do you think someone is hoping you “get;” what are you asking for; what’s being asked of you; what’s being implied or assumed?
  • How are you doing the “dance” between vulnerability and guardedness – in any area of your life – not just money?
  • Where is there comfort; where is there discomfort (again, in any area of your life – not just related to money)?

You see, peafowls, in the world according to Jacquette, Valentine’s Day is not just for expressing your love for and to another person. I believe it’s a chance for you and me to express our love and gratitude to and for life.

Like, really, how in love with your life are you right now?

Are you fanning your feathers at life letting it know that you’re ready, strong, willing, and able? Are you saying to life, “Choose me?” And, in turn, are you responding to the opportunities that are akin to life saying, “I’ve chosen you?”

Peafowls, it’s time to strut your stuff!

p.s. and if you need some help strutting your love + money stuff, register for the next Master the Language of Love + Money program.

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