Valentines Day: A day of Bacteria, Calamity and Vexation


February 14.

A time when every store display is cinnamon heart red and a Pepto Bismol pink.

Jittery line-ups at flower shops and jewelry stores.

A time when school children get their parents to buy kits of cards or crates of craft paper, enough for ALL the kids in the class. When I was little, we’d spend an art class making “mailboxes” for our Valentines. Each child would bring to school an empty cereal or tissue box to decorate with paper and stickers and glitter and bows. I once made mine with little “barn” doors. At the end of the day we’d all traipse up and down the aisles of desks, playing mailman with our bundle of cards and dropping them in the appropriate boxes.

The number of Valentines you recieved was VERY important. It didn’t matter who they were from, just as long as you had more than the snotty pretty girl who sat at the front of the class in her new red velvet dress and black patent leather shoes.

I can’t ever remember LOVING Valentines Day. Sure, I’ve received roses and cards and chocolate and jewelry. Once a beau of mine even presented me with seat covers for my truck (yeah… no points, not even for originality, for that one.) All these gifts seemed “romantic” at the time but looking back they were just candy floss sugary sweet and dissolved just as quickly.

Which brings me to the legend of St. Valentine. There are a couple of stories about the guy. My favorite is the one where he, in defiance of Emperor Claudius II, married Christian couples in secret. Valentine was a shit disturber! He was a fellow who decided to go against the edict of the emperor (a tyrant from what I’ve read). He recognized an injustice that stood in the way of goodness and decided to something about it.

Heroic, not self-serving.

St. Valentine. The patron Saint of love. But, ironically, he is also the patron saint of the plague.’s definitions of plague are:

1. an epidemic disease that causes high mortality; pestilence.

2. an infectious, epidemic disease caused by a bacterium, Yersinia pestis, characterized by fever, chills, and prostration.

3. any widespread affliction, calamity

4. any cause of trouble, annoyance, or vexation.

Now thiiiiiink about this. Think honestly. Think carefully at your history with romantic love. Kinda fits some portions of these definitions doesn’t it? Especially in high school. Or University. Or well into adulthood for some of us. Funnily enough I was browsing through some ancient artifacts stored in my trunk. Journals from college and university that are filled with all sorts of insecure angst about boyfrienda nd I was reminded that many a time I flung myself prostrate on my bed wishing and wanting and wondering about a certain boy. AND many a time calamity, trouble, annoyance and most certainly vexation followed.

Since then, however, I haven’t been much of a romantic. I don’t think I’ve become hardened or stoic, I just think I’ve become a bit more introspective and sensible. (Well I should hope so at my age!)

Now I think the most romantic notion is…

consistency over time.

Not words.

Not purchases.

Not public proclamations on social networking sites.

But actions and decisiveness and dependability…

…oh, and undying devotion and adoration doesn’t hurt either! : )


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