Today is February 14, Valentine’s Day, a day when people’s hearts turn to thoughts of … well, baseball, actually. Pitchers and catchers report today. But I digress.
Valentine’s Day is many things. It can be seen as a day of rebirth, with Spring now six weeks away, regardless of which fuzzy rodent you put your prognostication faith in.
It can be a day of courage, where you finally admit to the one you fancy that … well, you fancy them.
Or it can be a day of loneliness or unrequited love where you sit at home looking at the flowers you sent yourself from an admirer simply because you cannot pluck up the courage to tell the person you fancy you fancy them.
According to Wikipedia, today is the Feast of Saint Valentine, but like many things, the reason he is a saint is lost in the muck of history that has little to do with romantic love. For others, today is no more than a phony, made-up radio holiday for selling candy and cards1.
In the 1400s, we see some of the first ties with love in the Charter of the Court of Love were lavish festivals centered around amorous songs and poetry competitions. Likely the songs and poetry were just as sappy as some of the greeting cards we have today.
Today is also a big day for engagements and weddings. Why? The romance? The love? More likely because most men need a date they can remember. Most men can barely remember where they left their keys. If their wedding anniversary is on a memorable day, like Valentine’s Day, at least they will remember to pick up a card, even if they cannot remember precisely why2.
I am not a cynic when it comes to Valentine’s Day. It’s not something I go out of my way to celebrate, nor is it a day that can be easily overlooked3. For me, I am going to focus on the coming of Spring.
- Of course the same could be said for Christmas and Thanksgiving as well, but that’s not the point. ↩
- Most women put their anniversary on the new year calendar before they even put their birthday, so their spouse won’t forget. I should check with my gay male friends to see if they do the same thing. ↩
- Have you been to a grocery store on the 13th? There are more balloons for Valentine’s Day than at any other time of the year. ↩