Happy Valentine's Day

My Thoughts

atwoods@sti.netFebruary 11, 2014 

Tomorrow is Valentines Day. Guys who read this column that haven't figured out that Valentines Day comes once each year and always on Feb.14, still have today to get the gifts for those valentines in their lives. So guys — don't mess this up. There are places to buy the flowers, the cards, the candy, the jewelry, the clothing, the trinket, or the bling. I learned a number of years ago that a lady prefers gifts that don't have an electric cord attached to the item, which means no vacuum cleaners or leaf blowers.

Valentine's Day has changed a great deal over the years. Saint Valentine was a third-century figure known for his ideas regarding faith and courtly love. His reputation grew and after he died, the Roman Catholic Church elevated him to sainthood, with his day commemorated on the 14th of February because that was the date of his death. Over the years, his history was distorted and other Valentines came into and out of the picture so there is great confusion. The Roman Church still considers him to be a saint, but in 1969 removed his commemoration day from the liturgical calendar, The Anglicans and the Lutherans still consider the 14th of February an official feast day and so the 14th is still shown as St. Valentine's Day in those denominations.

To the rest of us, we see it as the day of romance and the capitalists in our area are ready and willing to help make that day special. It is a great time to remind those you love that you love them and a great time to remind yourself to treat those you love with the love they deserve. Frankly, I haven't figured out why my dear Carol loves me — let alone tolerates me — but trust me when I say that Valentine isn't the only saint that day; Carol deserves a halo, as well.

This past week we were told during news broadcasts that some schools are banning school parties and celebrations of Valentine's Day, along with bans on treats being attached to any cards for students to share with one another. Please explain to me how a child is going to be forever harmed by eating 12 little heart shaped candies that have those phrases printed on them. We seemed to have survived. Can the food police explain how a child eating a cupcake or a couple of cookies in class will cause a child to become morbidly obese? I was a fat kid growing up. It wasn't the four-or-five school parties that were to blame — it was all the other stuff I stuffed into my gut every day of the year. I finally learned to control what I eat, learned that exercise would help keep me fit, and voila I gained control over the weight.

It is strange that the same society that wants to "protect" a child from the harmful affects of an occasional cupcake sees no harm in that child hearing profane and vulgar language on television, in the movies, or in popular music.

Some say they want the parties to stop because some in this culture don't celebrate such a holiday. I don't celebrate many of the things that are celebrated across this wonderful country but that doesn't mean others should not be able to enjoy such activities. Last week millions watched a football game which had zero interest for me. I read, wrote, chatted with other non-football-fan friends, and waited until the game was over to chat with my wife who wanted to enjoy the event. I wasn't offended that this nation spent countless hours discussing the Super Bowl. I wasn't one of the most popular kids in school so I never got stacks of cards but I enjoyed the Valentine cards I did get. I learned from that holiday that others enjoyed getting a card from me and that is how kids learn the concept of sharing and relationship building. Stop being offended.

So take time tomorrow to let those you love know you love them. If money is limited, then write your own poem and make your own card. Cook dinner for them or take them on a picnic. Do something and do it, not out of obligation, but out of love. A couple of weeks ago a young man I really admire shared that he "had to do that Valentine's thing." I shared with him that he had the opportunity to show his special lady friend that she matters to him.

Tomorrow, I will have gifts for my beautiful bride of 20 years. I will have the card, the gift and the treats. I will cook her a special dinner and remind her how special she is to me. Then at some point later in the evening, I will do something dumb and show that I am still a doofus and Carol will smile and be understanding and forgiving. In that moment, she is showing her love for me and that will be the best Valentine's gift.

Happy Valentine's Day.

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