Valentine’s Miscellany (part deux)

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  This holiday used to piss me off, especially when I was single.  It can be a rough holiday, but honestly, what holiday isn’t?  Doesn’t every holiday have its fair share of distortion, stress, and ill-fated food choices?

But I understand the special difficulty behind Valentine’s Day:  the love thing.  I have had several single Valentine’s Days and I will admit, they were not happy times.  But how have we gotten here?  Wikipedia defines the history of Valentine’s Day as an homage to the Saints Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni, both martyrs.  It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that Chaucer made note of the holiday being a nod to “courtly love” and even then, it wasn’t yet all hearts, candy, roses, and sexiness.

And speaking of all that commercial detritus, according to Wikipedia, the modern-day version of Valentine’s Day in the US with all it’s cupids and champagne and Hallmark cards and such didn’t really start to take place until the mid-twentieth century, and the jewelry push?  That didn’t take shape until the 1980’s. 

So, if you’re feeling pressured this Valentine’s Day to be in love and you are not, take solace in the fact that the commercialized, over-hyped, candy-coated “day of love” this holiday represents in 2012 actually started with quite a bit of bloodshed and took a very long time to become what it is today: a commercial holiday.

Remember that love begins within yourself, and take some time to do something nice for YOU today.

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