While driving home, it was interesting to see the smiles on the faces of those who got their baskets of goodies. Some received flowers, others chocolate, jewellery, roses and lots of other romantic mementos. Somehow the demonstrations of affection were “more meaningful” if they were tied to gifts. And, what I noticed was that people were craving gifts, intoxicated with the idea of love more than love itself.
Truthfully, on their own, these gifts can be sweet, great tokens of love from someone you care about. But, throw in the word “Valentine”, a baby in a diaper with a bow and arrow and call it a holiday, and suddenly the meaning is tripled, frustrating one half of a couple for needing to observe this thing and the other half of the couple expecting it to be observed.
Yes, sounds all too romantic. Right? Right?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Valentine’s Day hater. On the contrary, I may be one of the sappiest, happily-ever-after types you’ll ever meet, which hasn’t wavered no matter how many Valentine’s Days I’ve been unattached. And, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to have a day where you have an extra chance to show someone you care.
But, is that how this day started out? If you believe what history says, not so much: In one old tale, a man by the name of Valentine, also a priest, helped soldiers marry their sweethearts when it was outlawed – and was eventually put to death. In another tale, Valentine was killed for helping Christians escape harsh conditions. And, other legends refer to the time as a day to celebrate fertility.
When you strip these stories away to the core, you can probably deduce how they became associated with romantic love. But, at the heart of it (pun intended), Valentine himself wasn’t this deep, profound lover. From what I can tell, he just wanted to help other people to be happy. There’s still no telling for sure where all the other “stuff” came from.
So, where does that leave us?
These days, people may be overwhelmingly unaffected by what the “holiday” has evolved to. For many, the grand demonstrations of love are okay. And, as long as Hallmark, the jewellers, Russell Stover and the like tell us that this day is important, (and, people continue to spend hundreds to show that they care as H & R Block points out), it’s likely that Valentine’s day will remain the way we know it to be. Just like how Christmas and many other holidays all get caught up in the commercial shuffle. If it works for you then so be it. However, it’s sort of a bummer if that is all the day is about. And even more of a bummer if you leave the Love Celebration for February 14th, alone.
If I wake up on the 15th, 16th, 17th and beyond, being showered with as much love and demonstrations of that love as I got on the 14th, or get a sweet little token of love on a random Wednesday evening after a long day, then it will mean way more than something that was given just because a holiday dictated so. In this case, Valentine’s Day would simply be a “reminder day” of all the love that we share in the off season – and not the whole commercialized fiesta itself.
Contributed by Jenina The Relationship Diva