Love Has A Holiday

This should be the He Said/He Said posting, and I thought of doing that one. Valentine’s Day is a fraud in my book….in fact, none of my Panel members save 2 celebrate it, so I thought a posting about arguments between lovers would be perfect. But then, I could just rant about how Valentine’s Day is simply a trap to suck even more money out of pockets and push the society ideal of perfect love and that is what I am going to do. Besides, it isn’t even a real holiday!! A REAL holiday would give you a paid off from work (save MLK’s birthday and Veteran’s Day) and Valentine’s Day does not do that. In all fairness, neither does St. Patrick’s Day or Halloween, but they are probably another post for another day.

I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day, even when in a relationship. Married Man would buy me a present for the occasion ( the man who once celebrated my birthday by taking me to a combination Laundromat and Pool Hall and gave me Mother’s Day presents); of course, I never received them on Valentine’s Day, and I never reciprocated his gestures. For what? As Girlfriend says….ALL they want is sex, and that is what he would get. The only 2 people on the Panel who celebrate the day are Buddy and Bell Pepper. Buddy is a true romantic….he believes in flowers, candy and candlelit dinners. Every Valentine’s Day, his girlfriends are treated to flowers and chocolates, a gift such as a purse, perfume or jewelry and a home cooked meal. He breaks out the Barry White, Al Green and Teddy Pendergrass and it is ON. This year, he got Boo a red toolbox ( apparently she needs one) and inside he has chocolates and roses. They guy is good…practical AND romantic….but I told you all before….Buddy is the man who will see what you need, and get it for you. Bell Pepper is running around looking for gifts for all her closest friends (she bought 3)  and a couple of no good guys who do not deserve for her to tell them what day of the week it is. She has brought me a gorgeous necklace and for the first time since Carter was President, I bought a Valentine’s gift for someone. Actually, I had to buy 3…..I had brought her a heart shaped box of Hershey’s kisses (she loves Hershey’s chocolates) earlier last week, but ate them when I discovered my chocolate stash was depleted. So I went out and bought her another one and a small box with a robot on the front for her son.

If Cuz even knows it is Valentine’s Day, I would be surprised; Morning Person answered in the negative and as if I were crazy when I asked was she celebrating it. New Mommy is on official maternity leave and I think she will leave the celebration until the 15th, when KBugg turns one week old. Artsy Craftsy does not observe Valentine’s Day and all Oscar will say is it is the first one without Him, Jr. So I am not sure if they did celebrate it or if she is still counting down all the firsts without him. Chef will be placing flowers on his fiancée’s grave and the Independent Consultants also do not celebrate the “holiday”. Quiet One will be having dinner with her husband, but she does not celebrate Valentine’s Day;  however she is not one to pass up a good dinner in a great restaurant. The World’s Biggest Valentine’s Day Scrooge, Girlfriend actually has a date! With Little Marine and she is wondering if he is worth the game she is playing….she has told him 3 times a day, every day since they met she is not looking for pressure, commitment or a relationship. She does NOT celebrate Valentine’s Day and please do not try to pin her or her schedule down. The man made reservations at a restaurant, has bought a gift AND is booking her for dates through September of this year. We are all just crossing our fingers he does not end up wearing his dinner home.

So what IS it with Valentine’s Day that so many people celebrate it and it is the chocolate industry’s biggest day of any year and the greeting card industry has this day being it’s 3rd biggest seller….behind birthday cards and Christmas cards? WHAT significance does this day hold that it is the second busiest day of the year for the US Postal Service (over 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are delivered each year…..they deliver 2.6 billion Christmas cards per year)? Well, way back when in Ancient Rome, the month of February heralded the arrival of spring ( perhaps the start of the quotation: Ah, spring…when a young man’s fancy turns to love) and February has always been associated with romance; it is said that  February 14th is the start of the mating season for birds which is all well and good (at least the birds have romance) but who is St. Valentine? According to both Protestant and Catholic history, way back when in Ancient Roman times, Valentine was a bishop who conducted the marriages of young men to their betrothed in secret as Emperor Claudius had banned marriage so all eligible  men would be fit for war and combat…Claudius felt that marriage made men weak and too emotionally attached to others and not their country. Valentine’s clandestine acts were discovered and he was jailed. While awaiting his sentence in prison, Valentine was approached by his jailor, Asterius. It was said that Valentine had some saintly abilities and one of them granted him the power to heal people. Asterius had a blind daughter and knowing of the miraculous powers of Valentine, he requested him to restore the sight of his blind daughter; it appears that Valentine in some way did succeed to help Asterius’ daughter and a deep friendship formed between Valentine and the young woman.

When Claudius met with Valentine, he was said to have been impressed by the dignity and conviction of the jailed Bishop even though Valentine refused to agree with the Emperor regarding the ban on marriage. It is also said that the Emperor tried to convert Valentine to the Roman Gods but was unsuccessful in his efforts…. Valentine refused to recognize Roman Gods and even attempted to convert the Emperor, knowing the consequences fully. This angered Claudius II who issued the order of execution upon Valentine.  It is said that just before his execution, Valentine asked for a pen and paper from his jailor, and signed a farewell message to Asterius’ daughter “From Your Valentine,” a phrase that has lived ever after. Valentine is believed to have been executed on February 14, 270 AD. Thus 14th February became a day for all lovers and Valentine became its Patron Saint. It began to be annually observed by young Romans who offered handwritten greetings of affection, known as Valentines, on this day to the women they admired. With the coming of Christianity, the day came to be known as St. Valentine’s Day.

As the centuries passed and evolved, the handwritten greetings became greeting cards and were often accompanied by gifts such as flowers, candies and chocolates and jewelry. Not sure if people started viewing it as a romantic spin-off of a combination of Christmas and birthday or if people feel the extravaganza of gifts speaks to the depths of their love, but love has a holiday. I do not hate the concept of expressing your love for someone, but I would rather have it any other day but Valentine’s Day…..I do not know about you, but I need more than one day to express and acknowledge how I feel towards someone and I want to be acknowledged and appreciated  on more than the one day everyone else  is doing the same thing. So for those of you who will celebrate the day, enjoy your dinners, chocolates, flowers and pieces of jewelry. Enjoy your attention and appreciation and I hope your romance and relationships  lasts for as long as you want and need it to; as for me, I will hang, fold and put away my clean laundry (nothing says love like clean clothes) and  pick up chocolates at 50% off on Tuesday. I will finally post He Said/She Said and start working on my blog about Meredith Grey. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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