By Keith Fisher
According to Wikipedia, in about 496 BC, Pope Gelasius I proclaimed a feast to be celebrated every year on February 14. This was to honor three martyred saints of ancient Rome. One of them was allegedly Saint Valentinus. The feast was slated to replace an old Pagan holiday of Lupercalia that had been celebrated for many years on February 15.
In the Middle Ages, the legends and the feast became associated with romantic love.
William Shakespeare (or was it Marlow?) gave us Friar Lawrence who in his compassion married the star crossed lovers and set into motion events of woe that young girls swoon over.
Ah love, at this time of year we (husbands) are once again, brought to the brink of insanity by the uncertainty of the moods of our dear sweethearts.
What type of bribery, trinket, or dead flower will please our true love? What kind of maniacal, sadistic punishment will we be forced to endure if we (heaven forbid) forget?
But what about receiving? Is it harder to find the perfect offering, or graciously accept a gift that you would never buy for yourself? In fact if you received it from anyone, (other than your true love), you would hide it in the dark recesses of the downstairs closet, never to be seen again?
Is this the kind of behavior inspired by true love? Well, if we use the example of Romeo and Juliet, then yes it is. What causes this behavior and leaves men sleepless, wallowing in a cold sweat, well into the night?
Ah love. I have heard it said that it is "a many splendored thing". (Try that word on your spell checker) It’s what causes mouths to go dry, dinner to go uneaten, and teenagers to plot their imaginary suicides, knowing they will never be allowed to show their faces in public again.
You may have guessed I am not a romantic fiction writer. If I were, I would write pages about the beauty and wonder of the day we have set aside for expression of the evidence of that knot in the pit of our stomach.
I implore you, in the interest of sanity, let’s go back to having a feast on February 14. Of course it means that we (husbands) will have to remember to express our love, everyday, in everything we do. We will have to start courting our wives again and go back to the time when we, as teenagers . . .
Uh, Never mind. It’s Saturday dear reader, barring Sunday you now have three days to get something for your true love. Try to avoid the last minute rush when white-faced husbands invade the local department store, settling for the last teddy bear and a chocolate bar.
If the unavoidable happens, try to repress the anger that rises because of the chuckles of the female store clerks who just know their sweetheart has already purchased a valentine that will knock their socks off.
Don’t tell them you saw their sweetheart at the other store, the one that was sold out of everything.