We are over the half way mark in January and stores have already stocked their shelves with a color array of reds, pinks and white. Googly eyes stare back at me as I walk past the card aisle with all hope to be chosen for my Valentine. As the years go by, I’ve noticed the decor, cards and cheap gift trinkets are getting uglier and lack any class whatsoever.
I hate Valentine’s day. For retail businesses, it is a smart but overrated, fish hook marketing strategy that pulls the wool over many consumer’s eyes and pick pockets their wallets. The price of flowers triple, and restaurants are booked with reservations and for what? Loved ones scramble to show their significant other how much they love them by going into debt in a matter of minutes. Nope, not me. I best be getting (and showing) lovin’ ALL year round. Don’t be saving it up for one day and feel obligated to follow the overrated trendy suit of other blindsided consumers.
So where does this St. Valentine holiday come from? Certainly not from a day of romance. Valentine’s day origininated from the Roman festival Lupercalia, but it originally was held on the 15th and by far, NOT romantic! It was a day full of animal sacrifice, with bloody violence and sexual behaviors with the intenion of warding off evil spirits and infertility. Roman legend has it that King Amulius ordered to have the founders of Rome, his twin nephews thrown into the Tiber River to drown….all because of their mother’s broken vow of celibacy. Thankfully, a servant took pity and placed them in a basket, then cast down the river, where later they were found by a she-wolf and eventually adopted by a shephard and his wife (history.com, 2017).
The most common legend is from 3rd century A.D., a man named Valentine was executed by Roman Emperor Claudius II because while imprisoned, tried to convert Claudius to Christianity. This didn’t go over so well with Claudius and Valentine was beheaded. Then Pope Gelasius from the late 5th century A.D. decided to eliminate the pagan celebration and have the “martyrdom of Saint Valentine instead” (para. 12-13).
How romantic do you feel now? So for this upcoming Valentine’s day, I think I will opt out yet again, to pass on the retail love quorum of madness and stick with the year round deed of showing my love to my loved ones. No beheading or throwing anyone into the river to drown.