As the kids made their way home from school, bellies filled with candy hearts and suckers made from red dye No. 5, I began to wonder about the inevitable. This being when they would finally realize that their father and I abstain from the remarkably popular holiday which falls on February the fourteenth.
I know what you are thinking; we’ve been getting the same accusatory statements for as long as our relationship has existed.
“Well he is just too cheap to do anything for you obviously.” Or “That’s just an excuse to be lazy.” Because apparently, the only people who are allowed to veto this day of cherub arrows and paper hearts are the singles that are loud and proud or the hipsters who tend to go against anything that falls into the realm of standard.
But the couples, oh the couples must celebrate—it is THE “Day of Love” after all.
Are you aware who Saint Valentine was? Because I wasn’t until this evening when I decided to write an article on Valentines Day and actually look into the man himself. It turns out he was not some horrific beast of a man that ripped out the hearts of the innocent to later feast on, like I had hoped—that would have obviously made for a much more attractive anecdote.
The year was somewhere around 270 AD, the place- Rome, and under the rule of Claudius the Cruel. During this time the emperor believed that there was a lack of soldiers because men were hesitant to go to battle while having wives and children at home. Which doesn’t make much sense to me…But who am I to argue with ol’ Clauds? To rectify this problem he placed a ban on all marriages and engagements in Rome.
A holy priest named (you guessed it) Valentine, thought this was downright despicable and secretly continued to perform matrimonies for the people. However it didn’t end happily my friends, spoiler alert—dude got caught. On February 14th 278 AD Valentine, later named a saint, was executed by order of Claudius the Cruel. It is said that while awaiting his execution he wrote one last note to the jailer’s daughter, as they had become fast friends in the slammer, and signed it, “From Your Valentine.”
…just like the ones that we hand out in elementary school! It’s all coming together now.
Now please, if you still can’t get enough of this national card giving and chocolate binging day, please don’t let my catty and sarcastic remarks stop you.
I’m sure that at one point in history Valentine’s Day was a commendable idea. But now, here, I feel that the presentation of love should be more than that. What is so commendable about showering your spouse in red roses and special words because a date on the calendar told you to?
Love is about the deep sanctity of togetherness. It is finding yourself once again standing in a pit of obstacles and knowing you will make it through as long as it brings you closer to your person. Love is not thinking twice about taking a chance on all of the things you hate about someone. Love is mundane and terrifying and exciting and usually pretty damn random too.
I simply cannot believe in allocating one single day to celebrating all of that. Shouldn’t that celebration exist each time you open your eyes to see that person you love sleeping next to you? (Drool and morning breath included!)
This feeling or celebration or whatever you want to call it should be present in each waking moment you know that there is another person out there who feels the exact same adoration for you as you do for them. Devotion is not made in a one-day-a-year offer so why should it be celebrated as such? It is the everyday splendours that reaffirm our love and keep a relationship strong and healthy.
If you celebrate Valentine’s Day for its true meaning and pay homage to the man that once sacrificed his life for young men and women to marry then I commend you! If you are using this day as a reminder to stop by the closest gas bar off your evening commute to purchase some cheap tulips and a card engraved with an even cheaper poem then please re-evaluate yourself before you devaluate yourself. Yep- that just happened.
For me, no amount of fancy dinners or cheese-filled cards can trump the spark that Jamie and I share each and every day. And if that is an odd way to celebrate our lives together…Well then, I guess we are just a couple of weirdo’s.