Yes, I know I’m cynical but I have a serious hatred for Valentines day. Worse than other fake holidays.
- St. Valentine was allegedly priest who got beheaded (there are several of him).
- Why greeting card companies decided we need a day to express our love and appreciation to each other is just stupid and sad.
- The jewelry commercials make my stomach churn for many, many reasons.
- The judging. My GOD the judging.
Let’s go ahead and take these in order.
I went to History.com (awesome website full of nifty things you should know for no reason other than knowing) to find 6 surprising facts about V-day. You can find pretty much the same info where ever, I just happened to go there.
There are several St. Valentines (including a pope), and that means you could, in theory, celebrate Valentine’s several times a year:
- St. Valentine of Viterbo on November 3.
- Traditional St. Valentine of Raetia on January 7.
- Women might choose to honor the only female St. Valentine (Valentina), a virgin martyred in Palestine on July 25, A.D. 308.
- The Eastern Orthodox Church officially celebrates St. Valentine twice, once as an elder of the church on July 6 and once as a martyr on July 30.
St. Valentine has wide-ranging spiritual responsibilities. People call on him to watch over the lives of lovers, of course, but also for interventions regarding beekeeping and epilepsy, as well as the plague, fainting and traveling. As you might expect, he’s also the patron saint of engaged couples and happy marriages.
I’m not sure how I would feel about praying to someone who keeps tabs on epilepsy and the plague to also bless my significant other. I know he’s not about to get confused but still. Unsettling.
Yes, I’m going to play the cynical “it’s a greeting card holiday!” card. Supposedly, we have Great Britain to thank for getting this ridiculous ball rolling. Chaucer wrote in one of his poems about Feb 14th being the day birds get together to choose a mate. It was the first written reference about the feast of St. Valentine’s to survive to modern day. But, the rose petals really hit the fan when, according to Wikipedia,”in 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own.” Charles Dickens, a guy I sort of kind of hate, actually called it “Cupid’s Manufactory.” Excellent word choice, sir.
Why one day? We can’t show love and appreciate for each other every day? Or on random days? I believe some people use it as the “one shot one kill” holiday: “I bought you roses/chocolates/jewelry that one day, we’re solid for another 364 days.” I suppose if you need that one day, please use it to your full advantage.
Then we have the horrific commercials that peg all women as single, desperate, gold-diggers clamoring for the biggest rock one can transform into a piece of jewelry and their men as clueless morons that need to be told where to go to buy said jewelry, how much to spend on said jewelry, and that anything else is… well, uncivilized. My mom once got a stove for her anniversary and it made her incredibly happy. Why? Because it was what she wanted, and what she needed. It made her life easier, and thus happier. I take zero issue with that. What would she have done with jewelry if she needed a new stove? Hocked it?
I personally only wear 1 piece of jewelry every single day and that’s the ring my great aunt left me because I loved her dearly. Some days I wear earrings and I’ve been known to put on a necklace. Showering me with diamonds is unnecessary. I’ll let you know if I want something and it won’t be all passive-aggressive like magazines with dog-eared pages laying around.
I really hate the one where she tells her “idiot” boyfriend that “the way to [her heart]” is with jewelry. So basically you’re a whore to whomever has the best bling?
Here’s another interesting tidbit: DeBeers made up engagement rings (and that whole “three months salary” rule) because they have a worldwide monopoly on diamonds. More on that later.
Lastly, the judging from society makes my rage keep me warm at night. If you’re not in a relationship you’re given pity. PITY. As if you’ve contracted a disease which will forever altar your life. “I’ve come down with a horrible case of…. singleness!” *GASP* “You poor thing! We must remedy this situation by showering you with pity and pity gifts to lift your shallow spirit!”
If you’re in a relationship then likely whatever you’re doing won’t be good enough. It will be compared to unspoken sky-high ideals or given the traditional “oh, that’s nice!” or “S/he will love that!” without ever knowing if that’s actually true. (Btw, had a meeting on the word nice. Yes, a for real office meeting. More on that later.)
And may God have mercy on your soul if you opt not to celebrate… Bless me Father, for I have chosen not to fall prey to societal antics.