Ahhh Valentines Day!!! The day of luv!!! (use your best Barry White voice when reading the preceding). How long has this holiday been around and how did a martyred saint get involved in this anyway? Well, no one is quite sure. In fact, no one is quite sure which St. Valentine the holiday refers to. (There are several possibilities). The feast day was around for centuries until 1965 when the Roman Catholic Church removed it from the liturgical calendar. However the holiday has been celebrated as we know it for many hundreds of years. The first literary account of the holiday appears in the year 1385 in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules (that’s Parliament of Fools) for those not familiar middle English
Sometime during the 14th century the St. Valentine’s Day became associated with a celebration of courtly love. For the medieval man the idea of courtly love was the stuff of fantasy, particularly for nobility, whose marriages were usually arranged for political gain. Thus the court bards of the middle ages would compose these fanciful tales of knights battling for the love of the fair maiden, or sexy shepherds and other peasants pining for each other on the hillside. In these romances, rules were made as to how to go about “wooing” the courtly lover. Now that courtly love is the way to find one’s mate these “rules” which have persisted to this day are as much a part of our cultural dogma as any scripture. For this reason there are usually high expectations coming into a Valentine’s season that often cause more stress than they do fun. It is no surprise that more relationships end on Valentine’s day than most any other day of the year.
This stress often manifests itself in two ways. If you are single then Valentine’s day only further reminds you that you are single (bummer). Nowadays you will hear single people refer to Valentines as SAD or Single Awareness Day. Or, if you (like me) have been in a relationship for some time and you either are feverishly planning a perfect night with your spouse/ partner, procrastinating the planning of that perfect night with your spouse/partner, or have completely forgotten about planning that perfect night with your spouse/partner*. In any case, let me assure you that if, at least, an acknowledgement of the fact that it is Valentine’s Day and and you love your spouse/partner is NOT made clear there could be serious repercussions. Hence, I have come to call Valentine’s Day Romance Assessment Day. (This term was coined by myself one year after watching my dad botch a Valentine’s Day). Are you as romantic as the next guy? Well, after sitting around bored at work today I came up with a few things would plan to do if I were single, and actually feverishly plan my Romance Assessment Day.
Single Awareness Day Plans (Yes I know I’m married, but I used to be single so there).
1. Whitney Houston said it best when she said that the greatest love of all was to love yourself, so I would spend a night of pure narcissism taking my self to a nice restaurant and a movie. (A date with myself, Yay!) (Maybe not).
2. Plan a guys or girls night out. Nothing like a night playing *insert video game title here* with the guys to forget your singleness. Or, better yet if you’re a guy if you can happen to get in on those girl’s night out activities…. (Who knows, that might solve the singleness issue).
3. Stimulate the economy by buying yourself a nice gift. (Don’t do this if you’re broke).
4. Ask someone out! (What a concept).
5. Relax and have fun!
Romance Assessment Day (What I’m might be planning if I weren’t procrastinating by writing this blog)
1. Go pick out a card that says what you really feel for your spouse/partner, but are too “moose-like” to come up with yourself
2. Pick out some pretty roses. (Red roses are fine, there is no need to go into what different color flowers are supposed to mean. Also a single beautiful rose tells your significant other that they are solitary beautiful gift, and she’ll love it, so there’s no need to pay 50 bucks for the whole dozen, unless you really want to).
3. Do something nice that is unexpected, or not usually required of you. (Use your imagination).
4. Leave the kids and go on an actual date (Unless you don’t have a babysitter, then go ahead and take the kids it’ll be fine. The kids, especially your daughters, need to know you love them too).
5. Bow chicka wow wow!!!! (after all it’s really hard to be mad at someone if you’re doing that).
5. Relax and have fun!
6. The key to passing Romance Assessment Day is to practice the above steps on other days than Romance Assessment Day. This is probably the point that I fail the most because, like so many other guys, I get too wrapped up in my daily life to take the time to do these things. C’est la vie. So my main poin in all this, I suppose, is to follow my own advice. Anyway I hope this entry helps. If you have any nifty Valentine’s Day plans feel free to comment.
*I use the term spouse/partner because it was easier to type than spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse/significant-other.