T. R. Williams

Straight from the heart

I must admit I haven’t celebrated the likes of Valentine’s Day in decades, though it’s impossible to disregard such a well-produced, highly advertised holiday.

For the millions spent touting the necessities of jewelry, chocolates, and those prized Hallmark cards, how could anyone living stateside ignore the yearly bombardment?

All kidding aside, I’ve utterly despised this heart laden recompense since my eighteenth year. How many crimson and fuchsia hearts can one human take after all? Just as one born on or near Christmas can attest to, there’s a definitive likelihood that seasonal decorations will somehow seep their way into the celebration of one’s birth. Speaking from experience, as I annually found myself inundated with countless heart-shaped paraphernalia; the likes of which I loathingly despised.

Don’t take this wrong, I adore birthdays. I mean where would I be without them, right? Yet, the fact that mine shadows the most over publicized day of the year by a measly 48 hours is another thing all together. I only wish that such a sentiment hadn’t been so distorted through time.

February has long been celebrated as the month of romance from the vestiges of Christian and ancient Roman traditions, (doubtful however it was meant to be the catalyst for the annual exchange of 150 Million greeting-cards in the U.S.).

Truth being, the roman priest Valentine was wretchedly put to death for secretly marrying young soldiers to their lovers wince a marriage ban had been placed over them by Emperor Claudius ll due to his belief that single men made fiercer warriors. Not seeming so romantic now I suppose.

Countless other accounts touting Valentine’s death came for aiding Christians in escaping the torturous cruelty and certain extermination in roman prisons. As well, rumors circulated that his demise came in mailing a letter to his beloved, (his jailors daughter, not such a wise move in retrospect I’m certain,) validating it “From your Valentine,” the coined phrase still used today.

Such sweet musings seem uber romantic at first glance, but legend landing that just such a move may have cost quixotic Valentine his very existence. The bare bones of which instantaneously snuffs out every last ember of romance for me.

Learning the history of Lupercalia didn’t further help the cause for positively altering my opinion of this beloved holiday. How romantic the idea of Luperci Roman priests sacrificing goats and dogs for the sake of dipping their hides in sacrificial blood to slap their woman and crops insuring fertility? Is my seemingly Grinch–like position dually evident as of yet?

Though Pope Gelasius officially altered this pagan festival by declaring St. Valentine’s Day at the end of the fifth century, still this offers no substantial evidence that such proclamation had any association with love. Rather, evidence substantiates it merely an acceptable means to banish Lupercalia.

With condemning evidences one must consider the divisor of such well-played sugar coated authenticity, once more smoke-screening us with another flagrant money-sucking tradition we faithfully partake of.

Just because the Duke of Orleans put pen to paper for the sake of love back in mid February 1415 by way of a poem whilst imprisoned in the Tower of London doesn’t offer better cause for proving our supposed devotion and amour for loved ones either.

What makes any day more or less special than another when it comes to love? Why shouldn’t we freely offer such kindnesses, such affections when ever we deem it desired? What cause might there be for anyone to fall for yet another corporately fueled facade? Might it be that we’ve been subtly conditioned to believe that if this day is not observed with utmost enthusiasm we mustn’t truly love our significant other? Believing that if we don’t conform to populist opinions, following suit with ample gift exchanges on this feebly formed holiday that our love isn’t worth anything those remaining three hundred and sixty-four days.

As for me and mine, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, rather we celebrate everyday the invaluable love we hold for one another. And if the desire so befalls one of us, we randomly procure flowers, chocolates or even sometimes a card to express those attentions held. Never should we convey love purely from the pressures of a corporate driven date on the calendar.

Might you join us in making a pact never to allow such deceptions to delegate adoring gestures? Here’s to random acts of love and kindness… today, tomorrow and always. Everyday should be considered Valentine’s Day.