I don't believe in Valentine's Day. It always seemed like such a made-up holiday, at least the Valentine's Day that Americans know and love. Instead of seeing hearts and winged Cupids and hearing love songs, the history teacher in me thinks about the religious observance of St. Valentine's Day (even though the Roman Catholic Church removed its observance from the calendar of saints in the 1960s). Who was St. Valentine? I'm not sure anyone really knows, since it seems that there were several early Christian martyrs who shared the name Valentine and it had nothing whatsoever to do with romantic love. Who wants to get all lovey-dovey on a holiday based on martyrs? If that were the case, in my mind's eye Fake Me and Fake Honey would end up with a conversation like this:
My dear, my love for you is as permanent as death.
Oh Honey, I bought you these red roses to symbolize my love...and the blood of martyrs.
May our passion be as spirited as the angry mobs who are responsible for the death of saints!
Not really my thing. And so I avoid Valentine's Day.
"But wait!" the English teacher in me screams. "Celebrating romantic love on Valentine's Day is still somewhat historical. After all, it was Geoffrey Chaucer in the 1300s who first wrote about Valentine's Day in connection to love." True, English Teacher Me. Score one point for you. (Even though History Teacher Me will point out that Chaucer was probably referring to Valentine's Day in the liturgical calendar, celebrated on May 2. But we'll just leave that aside for now.)
It is interesting how cultures around the world have adopted certain Valentine's Day traditions over the past few hundred years. But I will stick with my antivalentinism, my refusal to be told when Honey and I must commercialize our undying love and affection for one another.
My addictions to crafts and good deals, however, is unchanging. When in Joann's Fabrics the other day I saw Christmas items on 90% off clearance. The white silk poinsettias and the red glass balls inspired me: what if I made one teensy-weensy concession to the dreaded St. V-Day and put up the tiniest of decorations? I rushed home and threw my idea together.
The only problem? Honey walked out and said "It's January. Christmas is over." So I put it to you: is this Christmas or Valentine's Day? Be honest...you won't hurt my feelings either way.