First, your honor, I will concede that any excuse for chocolate is better than none. After that, Valentine’s shameful antics disguised as true love are debatable.
Settle down in the gallery and the jury, folks. Here are the facts:
1. There were two Christian martyrs named Valentine. Many think the custom of celebrating romance had something to do with these saints, but alas, ‘tis not true.
2. There was an ancient Roman festival that honored the goddess of women and marriage (Juno) and the god of nature (Pan). It was called the Feast of Lupercalia.
3. As with many pagan festivals, the church fathers worked to bring a more Christian meaning to the events. In 496 a Pope named Gelasius changed Lupercalia to Saint Valentine’s Day .
4. One belief, documented centuries ago, held that birds chose their mates on February 14. In nearly every country there are superstitions and long held customs surrounding this mushy, surface, warm fuzzy-feeling event.
5. Why, on one day a year, are men pressured to display tender feelings they may not possess at all? Yes, yes...women send cards and buy presents as well, but we must admit, the males are the ones who are expected to remember the importance of candy, flowers and even jewelry.
Persistent advertisments won’t let him forget. He may be terrified he'll end up with a sad, disappointed or even weeping female. Sometimes guys are dense about the way these things are handled, and end up in big trouble!
6.* I Corinthians 13: 4-8 is the only reminder we need about the kind of LOVE that never fails.
LOVE suffers long and is kind
LOVE does not envy
LOVE does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does
not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked,
thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices
in the truth
LOVE bears all things, believes all
things, hopes all things, endures all things.
How many expensive lacy cards have that sentiment?
7. Another interesting anomaly regarding this day of “love” rests in the shape of the heart. The cardiac muscles that keep humans marching to the beat are never the strange looking parenthetical renditions that have come to represent romance.
Enough said there.
8. Again, I remind those of you looking for affection associated with the most sappy, greeting-card day of the year; that aside from the flowers purchased and the candy consumed, it has little to do with real love, the kind Paul admonishes us to practice.
Here's an idea: Why don’t we just change the name to “Saint Chocolate Day” and be done with it?
9. In summation, there is one more very sensitive thing I would call to your attention.
For the scores of males and females who have NO love interest and receive absolutely NO tokens of anyone’s caring or devotion, the day of the Valentine can be painful and merciless...not for all, but for a few.
For those in favor of pummeling, please opt for the soft centers. Leave the nuts for the jury.
I rest my case.
Read more articles by Linda Germain or search for articles on the same topic or others.