“I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.” ~Author Unknown
Initially I intended to write a poem for this festive day, but decided to go in a different direction.
Today, February 14th, is known around the world as Valentine’s Day. It is a day celebrated by giving our significant others greeting cards(originally called Valentines), flowers, and confections. On this day people are prompted to reflect on the love they have for a special someone or someones and as such express that affection. However, over the years this day has also served as a reminder for many single individuals (mostly women), of how alone they are and as such this day can be quite bitter-sweet. But has anyone actually stopped to think about how this day originated?
Valentine’s Day got its namesake from one or more Christian martyrs whose name was Valentinus. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a martyr is you can click here. Any who, Saint Valentines was persecuted and killed because he refused to convert to Roman Paganism. That’s it. End of story. There were no romantic elements associated with him whatsoever. He wasn’t killed because he “believed in a thing called love” (hehe score for The Darkness reference. Over 1000 years later however, a man by the name of Geoffrey Chaucer(maybe you’ve heard of him), got the crazy notion to associate this day with romantic love in a poem he wrote in 1382, and because people usually don’t do their homework, they were bamboozled into thinking this should be a customary practice.
Here we are centuries later and this holiday has turned into a billion dollar business fleecing many for their hard-earned dollars. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not bitter about today in any way. To be honest I think the initial concept behind this idea is a very noble one, but like most other holidays that we celebrate I believe it has lost most of its meaning in favor for commercialism. Sites like Proflowers, FTD and Hallmark are making a killing today (average sales ranging between $50 and $150) because people are spending 100’s of dollars on flowers, candy and jewelry. Think about this, I’m not sure what it’s like in any other state, but here in Maryland on any giving day I can drive by a little Mexican man selling a bouquet of flowers for only $5. Greeting cards are always on sale in most stores and chocolates and sweets are never in short supply. So what’s stopping us from showing our love each and every day? Don’t you think your significant other would appreciate the gesture on a regular basis instead of one misinterpreted day a year? I guarantee that if people put as much effort into showing love to their significant others all year round like they are doing today, the idea of Valentine”s Day would become obsolete.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous. ~Ingrid Bergman
Do you remember your first kiss? I do. For as long as I live I’ll never forget the first time I kissed her. Christal Alexander. The first woman I ever loved.
I was probably 12 or 13 at the time and she was my first official girlfriend. We’d been dating for a few weeks but had never done anything more than hug or hold hands. I was a very awkward boy at the time and since that was my first experience with a girl I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. School was out for the summer and VBS (Vacation Bible School) was in session. That Friday’s “class” was coming to a close so we ran off to the upstairs balcony of the church to get some privacy before we had to part ways. I don’t remember what we talked about, probably because everything that happened that day was eclipsed by the events that were about to transpire. It came time for us to leave (I suspected my mother was looking for me), and I started down the step. She held on to my hand so I couldn’t take a step further. I turned and looked into her eyes waiting for her to say something but she never did. Instead she pulled me back so that I was on the step just below hers, which brought us to eye level. She released my hand and gently put her arms around my neck and in response I wrapped my arms around her waist. She smiled and slowly moved her face closer to mine. On instinct I did the same. Those seconds that passed, while our lips were coming closer to each other, felt like an eternity. My palms were sweaty and my heart was going a million miles a minute.
In the moment our lips touched, an entirely new world opened up to me. My senses came alive like never before. Time crawled to a stop, or rather we were frozen in that moment while everything else whizzed on around us. My entire body tingled; it was like electricity was surging through it and the only thing keeping me grounded was the fact that her lips were connected to mine. She tasted sweet, like nothing I’d ever had the pleasure of sampling before. It was the most freeing feeling in the world. It felt like I’d become weightless and was floating on a cloud.
And then just like that, the moment (well that particular moment anyway) was over. We parted and went about our separate ways until we would see each other again. For the rest of the day that kiss was all I could think about. I remember getting home and collapsing on my bed and replaying the event in my head, and every time I did this euphoric feeling would just wash over me. I’d get goosebumps (why are they called goosebumps anyway?), float away to cloud nine and I’d be nothing but smiles. In the days following, I’d replay the memory just for the sensation like I was some psychological drug addict. Even thinking about it now, I can still grasp a bit of that feeling from so long ago.
What was your first kiss like?