Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Big VD, Reprised

Whether you like his holiday or not, St. Valentine was quite the righteous dude.

Happy Valentine's Day, Dear Readers!

So, what do you think of Valentine's Day? Do you love it, hate it, or are you on the fence? Do you turn up your nose and sneer that it's a "Hallmark Holiday", or do you jump at the chance to come up with new, creative ways to show your love?

Since I work at a museum, I used to have to go on a morning news show once a year and explain the historical significance of Valentine's Day. It was interesting, if a bit sad. The real Valentine was a Roman priest who became one of the most popular saints in England and France after his death. When Emperor Claudius II forbid marriage, proclaiming that single men make better soldiers, Valentine secretly continued to marry people. When Claudius found out, he was pissed. He ordered Valentine's execution.

While in prison before his death, Valentine sent his lover a letter signed ‘from your Valentine’, leading to widespread use of the phrase. The first true Valentine card was sent in 1415 by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London at the time.

As for me, I admit I used to dread Valentine's Day. In girl world, it always seemed to be a day when your significant others "proved" how much they loved you, which of course is ridiculous. I hated the pressure, but now that I'm with The Boy, I no longer worry about that stuff. Although he did get this ghost-story writing girl the best present ever: a night in a haunted hotel room!

My co-workers would appreciate this one!
How are you spending the holiday? How do you feel about it? Do you think it creates unfair pressure or is designed to make singles feel miserable?
 
In the meantime, here's Annie's recipe for Valentine's chocolate sugar cookies.

7 comments:

  1. I've never much liked it. I seemed to always be single through my teenage years and 20s on Valentine's Day so it was a day I sat at home and moped.

    When you are married it is just another day (or at least it was in my marriage because I can't come up with a single Valentine's Day event that I recall being special.) And when you have kids, it becomes about the kids.

    In the two relationships I've been in since my marriage, one guy bought me a kayak for Valentine's day but nothing for my Birthday or Christmas. It was over the top a bit. The second guy scolded ME for going over the top.

    So, Sad but true, Valentine's Day has never really worked its magic on me. I'm still waiting.

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  2. When it comes to St. Valentine’s Day, I have always found something disturbing about its commercialism (eg. The other day while watching television there was an ad for the new Blackberry as the “perfect Valentine’s Day gift”…Seriously?!?!?!!? Where does it end?).

    Personally I don’t believe in waiting until Valentines’ Day to show someone how much you love them…Do that every day of the year. That’s what I do…Still, I don’t think we should throw it out the window either. I think it’s more fun with the smaller gestures, like a homemade card, or a shared bottle of wine with my sweetie.

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  3. What? No one comes to the defense of the "holiday of love"? Actually, I'm not too surprised.

    @ Kim - sorry to hear that. I always wanted to throw a fun, "anti-Valentine's party" for singles, but I don't think I was ever single long enough to do it. Bummer--I had some fun ideas. A kayak is quite the gift, though.

    @ Lisa - yes, I've found that happens during Mother's Day, too. "Buy your mother this $3,000 diamond watch to show her you care". Marketers will stop at nothing! I do agree that you should show people you love them everyday, but VD's still fun. A little less fun for us this year, but there's always next year.

    Thanks for participating!

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  4. Thanks for this. I didn't know the whole story how Valentine's Day originated. Interesting.

    I've been married for 31 years, and in that amount of time, I've learned that love is not something that we should have to go about proving, but rather something that is proven to us through every day living, those small gestures, gentle words, the knowing that your partner will be there for you.

    My favourite Valentine is a single rose, a simple gesture.

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  5. I really like Valentine' day. Why not have an extra day to say "I love you". Even if you are not in a relationship, it is still a good day to let your friends know that you really care. When I was single, My friends and i would exchange chocolates and roses just to make each other feel special. Like Christmas, Enjoying Valentine's day is all about attitude. It should not be about how much you are "obligated" to do. It should be more about how good it makes you feel to share your friendship and love with people who are truly special. Not about what you get, but about what you give. My favorite Valentine: a short note that says "I'm there for you."

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  6. I go back and forth. Love heart candy, though. Found this post doing an image search for St. Valentine...glad to have moseyed over. I'd forgotten the story behind the day. Righteous dude, indeed.

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  7. Sorry I'm so late to respond to your wonderful comments.

    @ Laura - beautiful sentiment. I feel the same way. Love is a verb, not a noun.

    @ KFS - I think your idea of using Valentine's Day to celebrate friendship is wonderful. After all, love comes in many different shapes and forms. Many friendships last a lifetime, which is more than we can say for half of all marriages!

    @ Chriscocca - welcome to my blog! Glad you stopped by, and thanks for your comment. I hope you visit again, and I hope you got your hands on some of that heart candy.

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