I don’t dislike Valentine’s Day. It isn’t even what I would consider a Hallmark Holiday, because ol’ St. Valentine lived back in the three-figure years, way before God created Hallmark. St. Valentine’s been around for a very long time. It’s just that I’m not entirely sure how he was able to get an American holiday named after him, especially a romance-based celebration. The fact of the matter is that the St. Valentine who we honor on February 14 was only one of many St. Valentines. There are, in fact, 10 or 11 others named Valentine who achieved sainthood. The only romantic thing he ever did was sign a letter to a close friend with your Valentine. That was before he was beaten with clubs and beheaded by someone angry that he wouldn’t refute his love for, and devotion to, the One True God. You don’t read that in those sweet Valentine’s Day cards.
This year Bill got me a box of chocolates and a very lovely card. A few years ago, he bought me a HUGE box of chocolates the day after Valentine’s Day on sale. I didn’t mind at all that it came late, and enjoyed the chocolates for many weeks. Last year, I asked him to do the same thing again. Except he didn’t go the day after Valentine’s Day despite my
nagging gentle reminders. By time he went the next day, the candy was put away for the year to make room for the chocolate Easter bunnies. I was ticked. (Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Nothing says I love you like I WANTED MY DAMN CANDY.)
A week or so ago, I had a meltdown. A serious meltdown. It was one of those meltdowns that had very little to do with what brought on the meltdown. I threw myself on the bed and had a good, long cry. Bill was helpless because see above: it didn’t really have a cause that he could fix. He was sitting on our bed, and suddenly jumped up and said, “I know what will make you happy.” He went to his dresser drawer and pulled out a big box of chocolates that he had bought early for me for Valentine’s Day.
Well, I took one look at it and started to laugh. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, especially when he gave me the card as well. I didn’t even open the box or the card, but I was past my sadness. Friends, that’s what romance is all about. When one person knows you so well that he can figure out how to make me laugh at just the right time.
Sunday, he gave me the box of candy again, and I accepted it. I even opened the card, that had such a lovely sentiment that I knew he had spent a bit of time finding the right card…..
By the way, St. Valentine (the one we honor on February 14, is interred in a small town in Italy. In the way of the Italians, they have preserved his head. This is what St. Valentine looks like today….
Romantic, isn’t it? I think it’s the flowers.