My Annual Valentine’s Day Rant

Today is Valentine’s Day and aren’t our little, romantic hearts all aflutter?

Not mine.

I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Call me unromantic, jaded, or cynical, but to me, Valentine’s Day is a totally bogus “holiday.” That’s why a column by syndicated columnist Tom Purcell that I read a while back still resonates with me.

Purcell wrote that on Valentine’s Day, women “dream of romance, surprise, and having sweet nothings whispered into their ears — and if such things happen, they hope their husbands don’t find out!”

But for men, Purcell said, “Valentine’s Day is a contrived undertaking that makes mandatory the things — flowers, dining out, expensive jewelry — that should be reserved for the times when we do something really stupid and are desperate to make up.” I hear you, Mr. Purcell!

I started to wonder what’s really behind this so-called holiday, so I Googled “Valentine’s Day.” It turns out that Valentine’s Day was originally observed to honor early Christian martyrs. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine, all of whom were martyred. Interestingly, no romantic elements are present in the original, early medieval records of these martyrs.

Some historians believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Saint Valentine’s death. Hmm. Did all three saints named Valentine die in the middle of February? Did it happen in Chicago and was Al Capone invovled?

But others claim that the Catholic Church may have decided to place the Saint Valentine’s feast in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, which was celebrated around the middle of February.

Lupercalia was a festival in honor of Lupa, the she-wolf who suckled the infant orphans, Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. Lupercalia translates to “Wolf Festival.” During the festival, Roman priests would sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. They would then cut the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood, and take to the streets where they would gently slap women with the goat hide strips.

Oh wow, it doesn’t get any more romantic than that, does it?Send a Hallmark Card DayHaving educated myself on its origin stories, I am more convinced than ever that Valentine’s Day is the epitome of the expression “Hallmark holiday,” a phrase used to describe a holiday that exists solely for commercial purposes.

Valentine’s Day as a romantic holiday was actually concocted during an intense, closed-door brainstorming session at the corporate headquarters of Hallmark Cards, Inc. The Hallmark executives were trying to figure out how to sell more cards during the lull between the Christmas and Easter holidays. One exec suggested creating a romantic holiday celebrating a Roman she-wolf and some martyred saints. “Yeah, that’s the ticket!” all the other execs shouted out.

That, my friends, is the true story about how the Valentine’s Day holiday in America came into being. (And, as Mark Twain said, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”)

Anyway, I hope you all have a happy Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, mine probably won’t be very happy. When my wife reads this post, there is no doubt that, as Tom Purcell warned, I will have done something really stupid and will be desperate to make up.

Damn you Hallmark Cards, Inc. and your stupid Hallmark holiday.

29 thoughts on “My Annual Valentine’s Day Rant

  1. Sadje February 14, 2019 / 3:41 am

    Hahaha, I love your version of Valentine day. Hope you survive with all your skin intact.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. DailyMusings February 14, 2019 / 4:16 am

    I’m with you. I always say everyday should be Valentine’s Day- pretty pathetic if you need one day a year to tell someone or show someone you love them. Hallmark be damned

    Liked by 1 person

  3. James Pyles February 14, 2019 / 4:33 am

    But the Valentine’s Day card my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter gave me was cute. 😀

    I agree, though I don’t think I sound so angry about it. My wife haven’t celebrated the “holiday” in decades. However, I now have grandchildren, and I’m not going to step on their expressions of affection, so there is that.

    Oh, on Tuesday night, my son took my granddaughter to a local “Daddy-Daughter dance.” She was super excited. She got to wear a pretty dress, get her hair curled, wear flowers, and she had a blast.

    After they left, I found this news article about a fellow also taking a girl to the same dance. It was especially heartbreaking since my son is a Marine vet: https://www.kivitv.com/news/local-veteran-steps-in-for-father-daughter-dance?fbclid=IwAR3-AWqDYZtCQaszcxwXKV2amgRO9QDxAiaMjOlroY9RS4EZOHuzbi0O4BU

    Yeah, the holiday is bogus, but occasionally, people need a prompt to get them to express their love before it’s too late.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 14, 2019 / 6:47 am

      Very heartwarming story about the vet and what he did for the little girl. I guess there are a few things about the story, though, that confuse me. First, I don’t know squat about PTSD, but I just can’t comprehend how any father who felt that his daughter was the “apple of his eye,” as the story said, could be so selfish as to take his own life and leave his beloved daughter behind. Second, the story talked about how she was bullied in school because she didn’t have a father. It’s been a long, long time since I was in the fifth grade, but I don’t remember kids bullying other kids because they didn’t have a father or a mother. These days, where divorce is so common, a lot of kids are raised by one parent. So that aspect of this story struck me as kind of strange. Yeah, I know. I’m a coldhearted cynic.

      And, FWIW, I’m not “angry” about Valentine’s Day. I just feel like the whole greetings cards, chocolate, flower, and jewelry industries are manipulating us into spending money for a bogus “holiday,” and that irritates me. Of course, I feel the same way about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. But I’m just an old humbug and I’m glad your granddaughter’s Valentine’s Day card brought you some joy.

      Like

      • James Pyles February 14, 2019 / 7:11 am

        Sometimes, people experience tragedy and we don’t understand it. That doesn’t mean they’re in any less pain.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango February 14, 2019 / 7:31 am

          Yes, I know. I just have a thing about suicide. I think it’s incredibly selfish. At the same time, I support physician-assisted suicide for those with terminal illnesses. So go figure.

          Like

  4. myforever77 February 14, 2019 / 5:21 am

    Why even allow it to bother you so, not good for your health. Be Happy enjoy some chocolate candy today it might sweeten you up! ♥♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reflections of an Untidy Mind February 14, 2019 / 5:50 am

    Is it an actual holiday? How odd. Anyway, it has to be good just for the sex, right? Anyway, I hope my husband doesn’t read my post. He might expect to get lucky. 🙂 Cheers. Tracy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. crushedcaramel February 14, 2019 / 6:16 am

    It seems to follow the same pattern as a lot of other holidays…

    …but I am all for love any day any time.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. newepicauthor February 14, 2019 / 7:57 am

    Valentine’s Day has been celebrated as a romantic holiday since the 14th century, although mid-February has been a traditional time to celebrate love and fertility for much longer. The exact origins of Valentine’s Day are actually somewhat unclear, and the situation is made more complicated by the fact that there are several Saint Valentines. The most accepted explanation for the origins of Valentine’s Day is that it has its roots in pagan fertility festivals, which often took place at the close of winter.
    Ancient Romans would celebrate Lupercus the god of shepherds and attend the festival of Lupercalia, where they ran naked up and down through the city streets, for sport and laughter striking those they met with shaggy thongs. Many women would purposely get in their way, believing that if they were struck with a shaggy thong by one of the naked youths, that they could become pregnant. This celebration was held annually to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango February 14, 2019 / 8:36 am

      It’s still a Hallmark Holiday.

      Like

  8. anupturnedsoul February 14, 2019 / 9:46 am

    Your words are very sexy when they rant 😉

    I read an interesting news item this morning about Valentine’s Day in Japan. Apparently roles are reversed, and women are expected to do all the buying of chocolates for the men in their lives including their male work colleagues. Japanese women are beginning to rebel against this commercial holiday and chocolate companies are worried that their boom time is not so boom anymore.

    Attenti al lupo! C’era una volta un lupe di nome, Fandango, che forse voleva cambiare il mondo… finalmente ha deciso di mangiarlo. Buon appetito!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rugby843 February 14, 2019 / 12:37 pm

    As a wife who almost never received any of these romantic tributes, I believe it is for the children. But now they aren’t allowed to give those silly paper valentines at schools, or have the fun of making little boxes or bags to hold them from your classmates. I think some of this present day PC stuff is ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. pensitivity101 February 14, 2019 / 1:26 pm

    Never had it as a holiday. Hubby buys me flowers ‘just because’ and we’ve had our moments of slushiness.
    It’s too commercialised, but young romantics love it, and it is nice to experience before the rose tinted glasses crack.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 14, 2019 / 10:20 pm

      Yes. After 40 years of marriage, A one-day-a-year romantic holiday seems kinda silly. By the way, I really enjoyed your Valentine’s Day poem. I showed it to my wife and she said that it could have been written about her and me!

      Like

  11. Marleen February 14, 2019 / 5:55 pm

    I’m not really “into” Valentine’s Day (i agree it’s currently mostly a hallmark moneymaker). Based on the historical elements all thrown together (other than the selling of candy and such), maybe it’s most fitting for “lovers” of s&m. Anyway, I went to a movie, last night, that was advertised for the 14th, today, so as to not need contend with any kind of crowd. I enjoyed Alita.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Marilyn Armstrong February 16, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    Thank you for your rant. You saved me from having to write one of my own. This is one of those holidays we NEVER celebrate. Never.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Christine Bolton February 18, 2019 / 6:01 am

    Oh I love the graphic!! I feel the same way and it should be rechristened Hallmark’s Profit Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. freeofreality February 21, 2019 / 2:48 pm

    Love your post! 100% agree with you. I wish Valentine’s Day was about love in general and being kind to other people, rather than littering your BF/GF with unnecessary things. A day when we remind our siblings, parents, other relatives, friends, and strangers that we love them. At least the world would be an amazing place for one day a year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 21, 2019 / 3:00 pm

      Well stated. Let’s start a new Valentine’s Day tradition!

      Liked by 1 person

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