It is Friday. Yay. And we are on the cusp of Valentine’s Day weekend. I don’t know about you, but this creates some unnecessary pressure in my opinion. Who’s idiotic idea was Valentine’s Day, anyway? What’s that you say? St. Valentine’s idea? And who him anyway?
Naturally, curious Chicken that I am, I looked it up. Otherwise my choices were watching the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies or putting my three-year-old to bed on the rare night when someone else has offered to do it. (Not that the Winter Olympics aren’t important or interesting. Of course I will watch; the figure skating, at the very least and the luge is always fun. I always wanted to luge.)
So. St. Valentine was a very mysterious figure. See? This is already becoming more intriguing. There are three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus recognized by the Catholic church, all of whom were martyred. According to one legend, Valentine was a priest in the third century during the reign of Emperor Claudius II of Rome (and excuse me if I can’t help but wonder…did he have any clothes, the Claudius? Okay that’s juvenile, right? snort.) Anyway, Claudius decided that the best soldiers in his army were those that did not have wives and children so he passed an edict forbidding young men in Rome to marry. Valentine, the priest, married young lovers in secret, and when this was discovered, he was put to death. There are other stories but I am not your history teacher and this is not a continuing ed forum. This is the story I liked the best and I am sticking to it.
This Valentine, he was a nice guy with a soft heart for romance. This still does not explain why every February we all are expected to traipse about finding cards, candy and flowers. Frankly, I like shopping for cards any time of the year, so this is some consolation, but I prefer my romantic endeavors to be spontaneous and completely devoid of expectation. I like the element of surprise.
Once, when I was at Band Camp…no, sorry, different story. Once, on a summer day, I arrived home to find my kitchen table absolutely littered with new clothes. T-shirts, shorts, camisoles…all the stuff I loved to live in. No note. No explanation whatsoever, but of course I knew who they were from. You always know, right? It was the kind of spontaneous, thoughtful gift that drew tears, not only because the clothes all fit and were completely my taste, or because at that point in my life I didn’t, out of necessity, go about shopping for myself, but because they were given by a guy I don’t associate with shopping. If this man had a choice between cleaning the cellar and making a trip to the Gap, he would hands down clean the cellar, and then the garage just to be on the safe side. But one day, in the middle of summer, spontaneity and maybe a little arrow struck him and he braved the big bad retail world to bring a little joy and fashion into my life. And tonight he took over the bedtime duties. He’s my kind of Valentine.
I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I won’t be signing on their Facebook page. But that doesn’t mean I’m not a romantic.
Happy Valentine’s Day, World. Love you.