Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

There are a number of things on this planet that drive me crazy. There are also a number of things on the planet that make me grin. Today, both of those categories collide. VALENTINE'S DAY!

Let's have a brief history lesson, shall we? Don't worry, there won't be a test. St. Valentine was a priest in Rome between 200 and 300 A.D. St. Valentine helped many Christian couples get married. He also aided them when they were to be executed. He was a compassionate man. The emperor of the time took a liking to Valentine, despite all the laws he broke. Valentine, however, tried to convert the emperor which landed him in a catacomb to be discovered many decades later.

As all things go, facts were lost and stories were spun to patch the holes. The basic idea of love remained for many years, but is now being treated wrongly. The king who ruled at the time of the discovery of the body of St. Valentine dedicated the fourteenth day or February to the memory of the saint. He made it a day to remember love and compassion for each other (because naturally, we can't do that on our own).

Valentine's day eventually became commercialized. Where it once memorialized compassion and love for those around us, it now serves as a day single people dread. Yes, St. Valentine married Christian couples, but he did it because of love. He never gave up his religious beliefs because he loved God. He loved mankind and dedicated his life to helping them.

Somehow, I don't think St. Valentine would be proud to be associated to a day that people call "Single awareness day." People think it's clever and witty to wish people a "Happy Single Awareness Day!" It doesn't make me smile, it makes me sad.

I feel bad for people who believe that they cannot give or receive love unless they have a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or someone of that type. It's sad that they feel this day is not for them. Growing up, I always associated today with loving my family. My grandma always wishes me a Happy Valentine's day, my dad tells me he loves me, and the kids give me darling notes that remind me of how loved I am. It didn't occur to me until late in high school that Valentine's day is not what it used to be.

The single people who feel lonely aren't the only sad part of today. The commercialization is worse. The fact that people feel the need to break the bank to prove their love is depressing. Even though that means money in our economy, it's sad to think that love is now a material object. You can put a price on love now. Love is infinite, and intangible. It's beautiful but simple. It's sweet and it's warm. It's not a diamond, nor is it a bracelet. It's not a bouquet of roses, or a box of chocolates. It's a passion, a feeling, an unseen connection. Nathan and I celebrated on Saturday. He made me a dinner. It was wonderful. We ate (the best chicken Parmesan ever) and watched our latest TV obsession. I would have been perfectly content without dinner. Just knowing he loves me is enough. Knowing that my family loves me is enough.

This Valentine's day isn't over. It's probably a good idea to let your friends and family know how you feel. Tell them you care. Share your compassion. =) I love you!

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