Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Be My (Saint) Valentine
I'll admit I had a phase in college when I dressed in black on Valentine's Day. One year, I even exchanged dead flowers and black paper hearts with a friend. A little morbid, I know, but I often took my resistance to absurd levels. Now I have a partner and participate in some of the rituals at which I balked, but I like to think we temper it.
The history of Valentine's Day is pretty fascinating, as it developed from so many different legends into a holiday that gives us cause to send one billion greeting cards annually. There are, of course, many origins of this fabricated holiday, but the one I attached to most when I learned of it a few years ago was that of the St. Valentine (apparently, there were three) who made his life about sharing Christian love. It made sense to celebrate that, more-so than glorifying the carnal aspects of romantic love with chocolate and flowers. The Roman priest Valentine is the patron of love, young people, and happy marriages. Those are certainly things I can support.