Rotten Love: Op-ed

Don’t talk to me about Valentine’s Day. At my age an affair of the heart is a bypass!

>Joan Rivers

Valentine’s Day habitually triggers thoughts of couples in love sharing time together. Movies, flowers, chocolates, and swarming restaurants all come to mind, unless your birthday is near it. (Then it’s just a holiday that you would rather see dismembered.)  February 14th for everyone else is seen as a holiday for conveying your love for your partner in a way that everyone can see.

The infamous day of February 14, is marked as a time for young lovers to swoop others off their feet and into their fluttering hearts filled with warmth and euphoria. It is a time where one’s knight and shining armor comes to take them and fly away to their magic kingdoms; or, a time where Texas Chainsaw Massacre is reenacted.          

But why are we strained to buy flowers and gifts and proclaim our love specifically on that day?

Perhaps you are planning a surprise for someone you love. Wine-colored rose petals scattered on the table cloth you set out… where there’s not one single crinkle in sight…imagining the pop of Champaign that makes both of your hearts beat like a million meteors hitting planet earth. Or, you are just waiting to receive this exquisite treat from the person you merely know that has been admiring your presence since the third grade. This certain day is where you feel extra-loved, appreciated and special to your partner.   

Even though we have all heard the saying, “You don’t have to get me anything,” we all know it’s the girl code for, “You better get me something or you’re sleeping with the dog.”

It is hard to locate the exact origin of the holiday as there are a few legends of the holiday beginnings.  Although these legends are not completely confirmable, they are common enough to have some degree of believability— similar to uttering your love for someone.

The romantic side of Valentine’s Day is said to come from Lupercalia—a Pagan festival of fertility, which was celebrated in the middle of February. This particular festival began with an animal sacrifice—nothing says love like the natural flesh of a cadaver animal. After the sacrifice, the celebration continued with the ritualistic whacking of the young women with strips of the animal’s flesh and blood—ah, how romantic.

So why isn’t a card filled with genuine feelings good enough anymore?

The history of the cards is hard to pin-point. In ancient Rome, cards bearing the names of young people were once collected and retained in an urn. Then on “Valentine’s Day” you would draw “who” your Valentine would be. You would show your affection to them and then give them gifts later in the year.

Then later on the cards became a declaration of love to one’s “significant” other—if you have one. If you don’t, your card is undoubtedly to yourself from yourself. The cards grew in craftsmenship and popularity when they became part of the Civil War soldier’s stationary ration.

No wonder the idea of jumping in front of a bullet to declare one’s love came about—so spontaneous and meaningful! But they’re unquestionably a far cry from the heart-felt sentiments from soldiers in war. Now they’re bursting with clichéd poems and Hallmark rubbish. Oh, and you can’t forget the sickening low-priced chocolate that’s handed out in the truckloads.

 Alas, your dignity is the last thing being sacrificed for this beautiful celebration! Just like the legend of Cupid pricking himself by accident and falling in love with Venus, you too will find out to have pricked yourself to fall in love or go on a date with a horrible monster.

Isn’t that what love is all about?

 

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