Thursday, February 14, 2008

Today

I had intended to excuse my recent lack of blogging by telling you about the nasty and seemingly endless cold I've had. I was going to go on a bit about my insatiable need for sleep and the constant pressure in my head. Then I read Lisa's blog. Enough said.

So instead I'm going to write about St. Valentine. There doesn't seem to be one clear story about him. He might be one of 3 different people by that name. Most stories end with him being beheaded on February 14 for defying authority in one way or another. In one case he supposedly defied an Imperial edict that forbade marriage for young men (they needed them for the army)by continuing to perform said marriages. That may be how he ended up the patron saint of engaged couples. So how did we go from a beheading to roses, padded boxes filled with chocolate, and bankruptcy inducing jewelry? There's different theories about that too. One claims it was that favorite Christian pastime, convert the masses by converting the holiday. In mid-February Romans celebrated Lupercalia, a festival designed to remove evil spirits and promote health and fertility. You can imagine what they got up to in those sacred groves. So the Christians stuck a saint on the day and made it about engagement and marriage. As for who started all the cards and flowers, I blame the Victorians. After all, they were the ones that started the rituals that turned Christmas from a religious holiday into something more closely resembling a feeding frenzy. By the time Hallmark arrived on the scene there was no going back. I've never been fond of Valentine's Day. It seems designed to make people feel either left out or inadequate about their gift giving skills. I admit, I like getting flowers but I'd prefer them for no reason at all. Chocolate is a constant in my life and I really have no need for pricey jewelry. My sister once gave me a great Valentine's Day card that had a little basket-full of removable hearts. That's the good stuff. I might buy myself a present today, to show my care of myself. In fact, I vote we do our own converting and make Valentine's about honoring our own selves. The man died for his own principles. And as the Bard said, "Self-love is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting."

1 comment:

Kicking N. Screaming said...

I'm sorry to hear about your endless illness. Lately I've found myself thinking "remember when my entire face didn't throb so much I could actually open my mouth all the way?" Those were good times. I wish you well SOON. And since you're on the topic, myself, too!