Friday, February 14, 2003

In Defense of Valentine’s Day…

Ok, most of you would agree I am a squishy romantic and love any excuse to give flowers and candy and love letters and little things with little pink ribbons on them. And Valentines Day (or V-D day as I like to call it) is no exception. Of course, red being one of my favorite colors, and everything surrounding the day, from special dinners to secret Valentines just makes me giddy.

Then somebody had to stand behind me at Albertson’s while I am picking out a card for my Mother and say something ridiculous like, “Oh, Valentines is sooostupid. It’s a conspiracy to put pressure on people to buy things. It’s not really a holiday anyway.”

Are you on crack?

Let me say a few things about Valentine’s Day. One of my fondest memories of growing up was the game that three of my little best-est girlfriends and I would play. Little homemade (or store bought) Valentines with 3 little candy hearts inside would be dropped off on our doorstep, the bell rung and the sender would run as far and fast as possible and try not to get caught. Stupid? Yeah, a little. But the anticipation of one single Valentine was so enormous and once delivered meant so very much, that I will remember it for always.

When the tradition first began with the fable of “St. Valentine” and his little love notes to incarcerated prisoners, I am sure he didn’t plan on restaurants and Suites and the Ritz being overbooked. I don’t think when the day began being celebrated more publicly in Victorian times that the thought behind it was “Hey, let’s mass manufacture heart shaped boxes of expensive Truffles… let’s all get on THIS undiscovered bandwagon!”

It’s a day meant for those who really love to express their love for others, but may not be able to everyday. My Dad loves my Mom dearly and tries to be thoughtful with each and every breath he takes. But come Valentine’s, he is a real Casanova. Why? Because men are allowed to on Valentines Day. He has permission. And some men, and a few women, need that permission.

I have been celebrating Valentine’s Day all month long as a matter of fact… first with a romantic getaway, then a couple of early presents and sentimental mushy crap, and tonight with dinner, a special date at Build-a-bear and time with Sarah. To be technical, I have celebrated V-D day every day since meeting Lindi in July. I like the fact that I have given Lindi flowers so often during our courtship that giving them to her today would seem meaningless and I chose to do something original and from the heart. Let me repeat: From The Heart. That’s what it’s about. If you chose to buy the standard roses and box of chocolates, fine. It’s not a contest when you really love someone. If you don’t do anything except tell the person you’re with (even for the night) that you love them, wonderful! No judgment for chrissake.

And if you don’t “go in for” the whole V-D day thing, who cares? But don’t ruin it for the rest of us Virgos who eat this stuff up with a spoon and ask for more.

Gawd, next thing I know, someone will tell me that St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a real holiday, too.


The things you learn off of One of the shortest marriages in History belonged to Valentino...

Rudolph Valentino & Jean Acker
Married: November 1919
Split after six hours

For someone nicknamed "The Great Lover," Valentino struck out big time with his first wife, actress Jean Acker. Six hours after pledging to stay together in good times and in bad, they were putting their vows to the test. And failing. The bride locked Valentino out of their honeymoon suite. He knocked for 20 minutes before heading home. Acker claimed in divorce proceedings that the marriage was never consummated and that she'd dumped the sex symbol for another woman. Legend has it that Valentino, who died in 1926 at age 31, remembered his ex in his will, bequeathing her the sum of one dollar.


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