danLrene’s Thoughts on Valentine’s Day
image from www.phillyseaport.org
It is amazing to me how media and commercialism can turn a day into something it did not start out as. Valentine’s Day called St. Valentine’s Day was about certain saints, fertility and about spring in different regions. It only became mentioned as about romantic love in the 13th century and from there it has spawned into one of the most lucrative holidays we have.
Chaucer’s love birds
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
[“For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”]
This poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on May 2, 1381. (When they were married eight months later, they were each only 15 years old).”
Then came the money-making ventures. “Paper Valentines became so popular in England in the early 19th century that they were assembled in factories. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the mid-19th century.” And of course the United States began making mass-produced cards in 1847. And from there the rest is history…chocolates, flowers, cards, lingerie, balloons , anything that will make a profit are hawked on the papers, media, social websites, etc.
Starting from elementary children up, people are made to feel as if they are not worthy unless they receive cards, flowers, balloons, etc. Children in elementary school make Valentine bags or boxes for all their cards and they watch to see if everyone gives them a card. Some teachers are intuitive and require a child to bring a card for each child but many do not. And so, some children are left out.
Schools often become flooded with florists visits as they drop off flowers, bears, and chocolates for children for this day. Adults yearn for their “special one” to give them gifts and many base their idea of “love” and romanticism on Valentine’s Day. This fairy tale image of what love should be is perpetuated in the media and movies and then people get in relationships and marry and wonder why it is not like this all the time.
I see those that do not get all the special Valentine’s stuff being hurt and I see those that are getting it and buying into the hype that goes with it that love is perfect and always beautiful and sunny when it is not being hurt too. Love is a working relationship where yes, you will be disappointed; yes you will disagree; yes you will forget important dates, and yes you will be so happy and feel the love but there may be days when it is not all fairy tale like Valentine’s day. That is reality. So, I see those who buy into the hype that stores promote and media being hurt too by creating an illusion that is not real.
This is danLrene’s philosophy about Valentine’s Day. I think it is a lot like “random acts of kindness”. Why should kindness be random? Why should Valentine’s day be about ONE day that is all about love? And why should it only be about one kind of love? Why not be kind every day and do acts of kindness all the time? Why not show your love, whether it is romantic or friends or family or your special pet love ALL the time instead of building it up into hype that hurts many people? I do not do commercial anything anymore. Our Christmases are more beautiful because we focus on family and being together and doing things together and not on the gifts in the store and it is the same with all holidays. I have had my flowers and candy and you know what…the flowers die and the candy gets eaten and I would rather have that love all year-long than one day and then it is over.
Some will say “Oh, danLrene is just mad she has no Valentine gifts this year”. The truth is that I do have Special Valentines and gifts. In fact, I have many valentines..I have family valentines like my sons and my Sweetpea, Mama, my sweet Daisy and some very dear friends who make sure this day is special by just making sure I am included in their day like they do every day of the year. And their gifts to me are LOVE, TIME and CARING.
My older than dirt wisdom has shown me that the most important thing in life is those around me that I love and not a fairy tale perpetuated by stores wanting our money and by media hype. What I value most is LOVE and time spent with those I love And so today…I wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day and pray that your day is filled with the love of those around you whether it be that phone call from a family member or friend that is far away, or a visit with family and friends, or the special love your pet gives you. And if you are alone, shower that love on someone you know or on yourself and bring joy.
Does not that sound better than celebrating a holiday that started as a pagan ritual for fertility and then later cast as a holiday about St. Valentine and from there moved into a money making scheme just like Christmas has become and Easter? Make our Valentine’s day be an every day event and show people how much you love them, show those who have no one how much you care, and reach out to the world. And actually do something special even if alone like renting a movie you have wanted to see, making a special family dish to eat, painting a picture, buying yourself a bouquet of flowers to enjoy the smell and beauty of for you are just as special as anyone else in the world. And look for the good things. Tomorrow chocolates will go on sale for over fifty percent off.
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