It used to be an opportunity for lovers to declare their amour, or alert the object of their affection to their most intimate regard. Now it has been hijacked by the commercial giants and the ‘reality’ brigade of the 21st century, and bears no resemblance to its former cause.
Valentine is rumoured to be a Christian priest from Rome martyred around AD289 for giving aid to prisoners before, rather unadvisedly, falling in love with the jailer’s blind daughter. The jailer was so impressed after Valentine restored her sight, that he immediately converted to Christianity. Another version is that he carried out secret weddings for soldiers after they were prohibited from marrying because it interfered with their fighting abilities. February 14th is the speculated day of his death.
The whole love debacle ties in with the original pagan festival of Lupercalia, which dates back to pre-Christian days and was held annually around the 14th February. It was a fertility rite where naked young men would slap the buttocks of their chosen female with a goat’s skin; just your average night out in Ibiza then.
I’m not dissing the notion of romance per se. I like a good wooing as much as the next woman. But what puzzles me is why you would only choose to make the effort once a year, if you truly loved someone. Surely there should be an on-going element of romance factored into your daily life?
My Valentine Day’s involvement goes as far as sending a card to my husband – which is duly reciprocated – so I could be deemed as hypocritical, but that is where my conditioning and indulgence ends. We prefer to show our affection for each other with small gestures throughout the year, rather than one that starts on 14th February and ends at midnight. It might be as simple as a coffee in bed first thing in the morning, offering a relaxing foot massage, or buying a copy of Razzle with the monthly shop. Ha! I’m only joking about the last one. It isn’t Razzle, it’s Men Only!
What I do find embarrassing, and quite sad, are those couples who go in for the big well-publicised gesture. Your proposal of marriage only concerns the person to whom it is addressed, so why involve others? On the cringeworthy scale of 1-10, it’s an 11. And if you accept a proposal on Valentine’s Day, you deserve each other, as it would appear that the originality gene has escaped you both.
There will always be the crass individuals who arrange to have the huge bouquet of roses, box of chocolates, champagne (delete as appropriate) delivered to their partner’s place of work, so everyone can see how lucky they are to have such a considerate admirer. Yuk! Make the most of it and check the card is meant for you. Chances are, they’ll have changed horses by the following year.
These particular individuals remind me of the ‘Facebook couples’. The ones who take great pains to grandstand their love for each other on this social networking site, so the world can be a party to their ‘lurve’. These are usually the same couples who barely utter a word to each other behind closed doors. You know who you are, and let me tell you, you’re not fooling anyone except, maybe, yourselves.
So to all of you planning to participate in the day’s festivities, may you have a loved-up Valentine’s, but remember… it’s only one day of a whole year.
Social media sites at the ready! Let the toe-curling protestations of love begin.
Image credit: milacroft / 123RF Stock Photo