The easiest day to get in troubleI’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Why? Because it tends to set men up for the big fall; kind of like a curveball that drops 6 inches in the strike zone and leaves a hitter flapping at air.
By: Kevin Holten, The Dickinson Press
I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Why? Because it tends to set men up for the big fall; kind of like a curveball that drops 6 inches in the strike zone and leaves a hitter flapping at air.
Then again, it’s really all about the shopping part of it, isn’t it? Because the odds of you buying your wife or girlfriend the right gift (or hitting the bullseye on that one) are at least 1 million-to-1 since, not only do you not know what they really want, but neither do they.
Of course, I’m a horrid attention deficit shopper anyway. Plus God apparently intended for me to be independently wealthy, with servants to do it for me or why would he have given me absolutely no abilities in this area? Not that I am the only male who is cursed with this deficit.
In fact, marriage and love probably would have been outlawed long ago were it not for Charles II of Sweden who introduced the tradition of “flower writing” in Europe way back in the 18th century. You see, that’s when they started giving their special someone flowers on those momentous occasions as a non-verbal declaration of love, and it’s those roses today that are keeping many a husband and boyfriend from having to walk the “Divorce or Dear John Letter” gangplank.
Still, the status of Valentine’s Day is a little shaky anyway since nobody really seems to know how the goofy thing got started, not to mention that it supposedly originated with three different saints who all had the same name, Valentine, and who happened to die on the same day, years apart.
One of them was a priest who served during the third century in Rome and it was then that Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers and outlawed marriage for those young dudes. But our boy Valentine went ahead and performed marriage ceremonies for lovers in secret anyway and when Claudius found out that his silly little rule was being broken, he had Val done in on Feb. 14, which automatically makes that the first Valentine’s Day. How’s that for a romantic story?
Another legend suggests that an imprisoned Valentine sent the very first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl, who might have been a jailor’s daughter who visited him during his confinement, and he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” which is that famous expression that Hallmark has turned into a very well-padded bank account.
We Americans began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s and in the 1840s, Esther A. Howland, the “Mother of the Valentine,” began selling the first mass-produced cards when she made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures.
Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are being sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, with women purchasing approximately 85 percent of them. So you see, it IS really also about money.
But of course, what’s most puzzling about Valentine’s Day is the selection of some chubby little boy who shoots arrows at lovers from a tiny bow to be it’s primary spokesperson. Seems a little like asking actor Danny DeVito to quarterback a Super Bowl championship football team, doesn’t it?
All of which reminds me of a quote I once heard that said, “Valentine’s Day is when a lot of married men are reminded what a poor shot Cupid really is.”
Then again as journalist Judith Viorst said in Redbook in 1975, “Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracket or a holding pattern over Philadelphia.”
So have at it.