Valentine’s Day

“The story of St. Valentine is quite a dramatic one. Most people don’t realize that there was, in fact, a legend contending that St. Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. At the time, Emperor Claudius II came to the conclusion that single men made better soldiers than those that were obligated by marriage and children, and had subsequently outlawed marriage for young men — the very ones that were to be his potential soldiers. Valentine defied Claudius’ ban on marriage and continued to perform marriages in secret. Claudius soon learned of this and immediately ordered that Valentine be put to death.

According to another legend, it was Valentine himself who sent the first “Valentine” greeting. While incarcerated, Valentine fell in love with a young woman — possibly his jailor’s daughter, who visited him while he was in that Roman prison. Before being put to death, it is said that he wrote her a parting letter, which he signed, “From Your Valentine.” It is alleged that this is the origination of that same expression which is so widely used today.”

Isn’t that just too romantic for words? So…….what the hell happened?

Is it just my imagination, or have we become encapsulated in a Hallmark-driven society? All of a sudden, it has become commonplace to earmark a day, seemingly once a month, where it becomes The “hoopla” that is attached to these holidays tends to drive up the prices of everything that can be even remotely associated with the sentiment of the moment compulsory to send candy, give a gift, send a card or even become engaged. And if you’re not seeing anyone special, watch out! You’re a candidate to hit a rooftop with an AK-47 as this holiday approaches.

I’d like to suggest equal time for the majority of us who are not sporting a significant other: How about “Singles” Day? Or even a “Not Being a Burden on Society by Procreating out of Control” Day? If we must bow to the American Greetings God, let’s have at it! Send a “Congratulations on Purchasing That Dream House Single-Handedly” card or throw an “I’m Not Having a Baby” shower.

In all fairness, I can appreciate the true meaning of the holiday that is upon us. But why confine it to one day? Why should our motivation to show our true feelings to our loved ones (be they family or friends) be marked on a calendar? It seems to me that we should be doing this year round — not just during February, December, or any other month that contains one of these stigmatized holidays.

The “hoopla” that is attached to these holidays tends to drive up the prices of everything that can be even remotely associated with the sentiment of the moment. From airfares and Hotel rates to something as simple as flowers and candy.

Ladies, do you really want a proposal on Valentines Day? Wouldn’t you be even the least little bit suspicious that it was coerced by either you, the holiday — or maybe a little bit of both. Give the poor guy a break! I’m not talking about the “feet-shifter” fellas that drag out a five-year courtship. Save yourself some shoe leather and cut him loose, start over. I’m talking about not pushing a guy into popping the question simply by virtue of what you want, not what you both want. Realizing this can be the basis of a relationship that’s going to last.

Personally, I’d prefer a really spontaneously gushy love note than an obligatory gem-studded trinket any day. Why? Because it comes from the heart. If I want a piece of jewelry, I’ll go get it myself. Nothing can take the place of a truly felt sentiment in the form of a love poem or even a song that was written just for me. And I don’t time these things by a pre-selected Hallmark-driven holiday that is primarily based on facilitating a retail recovery after a post-Christmas shopping slump.

So if you see two stiletto’d feet sticking straight up out of a markdown valentine candy bin on February 15th, that would be yours truly — head first in 50% off chocolate. I stock up for the entire year. No red-blooded woman who has any intention of remaining sane should be without chocolate in the house, just in case of a hormonal emergency.

So shake off that “stigma” and don’t be a slave to a calendar. Let’s take this holiday for what it’s worth, a chance to capitalize on the retail anticipatory overstocking of heart-shaped candy!

Andrea See all posts by Andrea
is a BADASSCHICK Magazine™ contributor
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