Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

I don't like Valentine's Day. Never have. Being a lifelong commitment phobe, it's just one of those days that does not relate to me any way, shape or form. It occurred to me last night that I'm basically just jealous. It's something in which I can't participate. It's silly (and lots of even ruder things) to resent the celebration of romantic love by others. I'm notoriously silly.

VD has its roots in ancient times, as do most of our celebrations, in the holiday of Lupercalia. It is alleged that ancient Romans slaughtered goats, dipped strips of goat skin in blood and then whipped women with the strips to guarantee fertility. One web site went so far as to state emphatically that women liked this. The rest of the history I found was speculative and boring. Suffice it say that this festival has been around for a very long time and likely has its roots in laws of nature. Spring is coming and with all that reproduction in the air, we are all prone to succomb. Might as well secure that partnership now, especially when it's so cold and a good time to snuggle.

Romantic love didn't really come into fashion until the Victorian era. Prior to that, most marriages were either arranged or the result of capture during tribal raids. The most ancient formal marriages I know of are jewish, the requirement being an actual written contract (which for the most part, all the husband need do to end it is tear it up). Over time, customs became laws and laws became money delivery systems to lawyers. If that isn't the death of romantic love, I don't know what is.

Once upon a time, it did bother me to not get flowers delivered to the office so all my world would know that someone considered me important. Not having that candlelit dinner at my favorite restaurant was a drag, as was no one with whom to cuddle, snuggle and be silly. After living quite some time and seeing my friends marry, divorce, remarry, redivorce, reremarry, and so on, I think I'm starting to get over it. I may have missed some of the public recognition once a year, but I certainly had my share of candlelight, flowers, chocolates and cuddles. So, I'll just learn to be grateful on this day that there is no one to fight with.

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