“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
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!