Saint Valentine’s Day

My husband thinks Valentine’s Day was created by Hallmark to mass produce cards and chocolates. I disagree.

My personal thoughts of Valentine’s Day is that it’s a day to break up all other days and  take the time to love your significant other. Sure, someone could argue that it could be done any other day of the year, but is it done? Probably not. Everyone gets caught up in their day to day life and love kind of gets lost in the shuffle. Random acts of love and kindness aren’t seen all that often.

I mean seriously, how often do you hear about someone coming home with flowers just because? When does someone think, You know, I should plan a romantic evening just because I feel like it…?

Valentine’s Day dates back  to 496 AD. I don’t think Hallmark was around then. It was established by Pope Gelasius who was actually was of African decent, however probably wasn’t black.

The history of Saint Valentine is pretty much unknown, except for the fact that there were more than one. They were described as a priest, a bishop or a martyr. Pope Gelasius stated: “… whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.”

The history goes on to say that one of the Saint Valentine’s was secretly marrying Christian couples which was a crime at the time. The man who was doing this service was apparently imprisoned, then killed by being beaten with clubs, stones then beheaded.  That makes me weak at the knees…but not in the romantic sense.

In Paris in the 1400’s something called the “High Court of Love” was established.  The court dealt with love contracts, betrayals, and violence against women. Judges were selected by women on the basis of a poetry reading. The earliest Valentine is as so:

Je suis desja d’amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée…

My pathetic excuse of French speaking can translate it to say along the lines of: I am in love with my sweet Valentine.” Close enough.

In some cultures people will have large bon fires which signify passion.

This then sparked the culture of “Courtly Love.” It was done during the Medieval Times, and was reintroduced in the 1800’s. However it seems it was more or less for writing rather than reality. To which I say is a blessing…Why?  Below are the stages of “Courtly Love” and my interpretation:

  • Attraction to the lady, usually via eyes/glance
  • I mean, hell, just being noticed is a step in the right direction, eh?

  • Worship of the lady from afar
  • In these times, this would constitute a restraining order. But this was OK back in the day.

  • Declaration of passionate devotion
  • You see, my dear, you have beautiful eyes, and you’ve allowed me to stalk you, so now I am going to declare my ever loving passion for you.

    (Let’s recap, here. He noticed her, he stalked her, now he’s declaring his passionate devotion…I guess there’s no need to waste time, huh?)

  • Virtuous rejection by the lady
  • Seriously, dude? Are you sure you’re not just visualizing me naked?

  • Renewed wooing with oaths of virtue and eternal fealty
  • OK, so I guess I should buy you dinner or something before I declare my desperation and passion I feel towards you?

  • Moans of approaching death from unsatisfied desire (and other physical manifestations of lovesickness)
  • I think this is pretty self explained…I mean, moans? Wow. Turn off.

  • Heroic deeds of valor which win the lady’s heart
  • Let me fight this here Lion. Make sure you’re paying attention. Wait, you … wait, you have to watch me! I’M BEING HEROIC!

  • Consummation of the secret love.
  • Consummate: –verb (used with object)
    1. to bring to a state of perfection; fulfill.
    2. to complete (an arrangement, agreement, or the like) by a pledge or the signing of a contract: The company consummated its deal to buy a smaller firm.
    3. to complete (the union of a marriage) by the first marital sexual intercourse.

  • Endless adventures and subterfuges avoiding detection
  • Wanna do it in the ladies bathroom? How about in a clothing rack? Oh, oh, I know! How about a parking lot?

Jesus, is it that easy to court someone? It’s only slightly creepy. Slightly.

So there you go ladies and gents. The history (or at least the fun parts) of Saint Valentine’s Day. Now you can’t say it’s not just about flowers and such. People died, stalked and got dirty in order to make this holiday happen. Have some respect.

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on February 14, 2010, in Cassie. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. You made me laugh out loud, (LOL!), with this one. I got diamond earings AND the stomach flu for Valentine’s Day. I guess I have to take the good with the bad. 🙂

  2. All that was Courtly Love? I thought she was only famous because she married Kurt Cobain.

  3. The real question is, what did your husband end up doing about Valentine’s Day?!

    Also, your commentary on the stages of courtly love made me LOL 🙂

  4. I thought the first Valentine was: Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?

    Who knew?

    Actually, I’m surprised that Hollywood hasn’t tried to make a great historical epic out of the Saint Valentine story. Cast Leonardo DiCaprio or Johnny Depp… and you can start printing money.

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