Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day, according to Papapedia

There are many stories about the life of Valentinus, better known now as Saint Valentine.  They mostly center around his being martyred for his religious beliefs.  The most common story goes a little something like this (Papaphrased):

Valentinus was a Roman priest during the reign of Claudius II.  He was arrested and imprisoned after being caught marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians in general, both of which were crimes then.  He was then beaten with clubs and stones.  When he survived that, he was beheaded. 

Miraculously he survived that too, as his head was not entirely severed from his body.  He then changed his name to Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington and, after being rejected by the organization known as the "Headless Hunt", went to live in Hogwart's castle, where he remains today.  He is affectionately referred to by students and faculty there as Nearly Headless Nick.
And a good day to you, sir!
Today, people celebrate Valentine's Day with cards, gifts, chocolate, candy, and jewelry.  Hallmark has done a wonderful job in taking a misunderstood event in history and turning a profit on it.

The true story, as I have uncovered recently in an effort to set the record straight, is this:

Valentinus was on his way to the home of a woman he loved.  It was a long journey.  Along the way, he purchased several items for her in an attempt to gain her favor.  Those items included:  a small, heart-shaped box of various chocolates; a bouquet of flowers; an open heart necklace from the Jane Seymour collection; and tiny pieces of unleavened bread with cute sayings (such as "Martyr Me",  "Luv Ya Lots", and "Pls Cnvrt") etched into them.

As I said, it was a long trip.  The flowers wilted.  Some of the chocolates melted.  He dropped the stone insert from the box of chocolates which identified what each chocolate piece consisted of.  As an aside, the diagram did a shoddy job of identifying which chocolate held caramel and which held that nasty red stuff, so even if it hadn't shattered, he still would've had much difficulty distinguishing among the chocolates.  

He finally arrived at the home of her father and sought her out.  She was disappointed with the flowers, but she saw past that.  She looked at the chocolates, only to realize something was not right.  He had forgotten to take the little palm frond wrappers out of the box and, therefore, she could see he had eaten some.  She saw past that.

She took a bite of chocolate.  The center was filled with olives.  She spat it out.  She saw past it and tried another.  This one was filled with figs.  She hated figs.  She called her father, claimed Valentinus had made improper advances upon her, and had him beheaded.
I'm not sure which is worse, giving this to someone or killing them for giving it to you.
Later, when she found the open heart necklace, she was overwhelmed with grief.  She created a story about him being beheaded due to his religious beliefs, and claimed they had been secretly wed.  She then collected the proceeds of his estate and life insurance plans and went on to live a life of luxury.

Now, I must ask.  Is this really a "holiday" you want to celebrate?

I think not.  Please join Derek, the inspiration for this post, and I in boycotting Valentine's Day.


This Daddy said...

I am for kicking Valentines Day out the door. Different reasons but all the same, screw it. Lets just leave it for the kids and they can trade little Charlie Brown cards and give Mommy and Daddy cards and have smiles. For me, I love my wife every day and I dont need some over hyped, over priced day to remind me to do that.

Cheryl Lage said...

Ha! Love the way you write. :)

I've always thought that birthday over-indulgences should be abandoned---save for calling the mother and father with appreciation....even as a child I thought so....

Now Arbor Day? THAT's a holiday. ;)

championm2000 said...

Hey--I got new flannel PJs today out of this Valentine's Day deal, so it can't be all bad, right??

Did it take away from the romance when I asked my husband to go to the car and get his (still unsigned) card out of the console? He didn't seem to mind :-)