Today is St. Valentine’s Day, a day fraught with the potential for disappointment and disillusionment. And that is a real shame — because it is a contrived and artificial Special Occasion, seeming to bear little relationship to its origins. My question is: Who was St. Valentine, anyway?
Here is the result of my pitiful and paltry research:
“Until the late fourteenth century, St. Valentine, who suffered martyrdom on February 14, was remembered as just another of the church’s many saints. In the early 1400’s, Valentine began to be associated with romantic love and courtship; and eventually, he became the patron of lovers. Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with the exchange of cards and candy among schoolmates, friends, and family. Society appears to have little interest in remembering St. Valentine himself, preferring to maintain an emphasis on romantic love.” *
My husband, Stephen, a Ph. D. in Statistics, is a retired university professor, software developer, and classic INTP [Myers-Briggs Personality Type]. He sees absolutely no correlation between Hallmark and Romance. So, in advance, I know that today there will be no greeting cards, candy, flowers, jewelry, or dining out. The day will pass without notice.
However, do not feel sorry for me. On the contrary: Try not to be envious of me when I tell you that, only last week, I received this love-note:
You see, Stephen often gets up at “dark-thirty” in the morning and goes to work before I stumble into the kitchen. Last week, he left the above “love-note” for me, attached to the espresso maker, where he was positive I would find it. I put on my glasses and examined the note more closely.
“Wait a minute,” says I, “isn’t that the same love-note he left for me last week?” For I had saved that love-note and attached it, with a magnet, to the refrigerator, where the ever-efficient Dr. Payne had spied it and re-employed it.
I returned the note to the refrigerator and placed it on top of a gold-foil heart-shaped doily.
You can have your fancy Hallmark Valentine . . . .
. . . . I’ve got my recycled love-note.
*Quote is from All Through the Day, All Through the Year: Family Prayers and Celebrations, by David Batchelder.