This column has not turned out as planned. Obviously, with the week that’s in it, I have to mention St. Valentine’s Day which I know will cause a mixed reaction and some of you will stop reading NOW…but wait… I thought perhaps I would fill you in on the origins of St.Valentine, the guy responsible for starting the whole handlin’ in the first place. However, nothing’s that simple.
When I went clicking with my mouse I found three of them. One is described as a Roman priest, another as a Bishop of Interamna (now Terni in Italy) and the other lived and died in Africa. To complicate matters further, there were two different versions of the story…wait for it… the Protestant one and the Catholic one. That’s right. We couldn’t agree on the origins of St.Valentine’s Day either so I’m afraid that’s where my research ended because if I have two pet hates they have to be the Protestant version and the Catholic version.
So forgive me but I just have to carry on writing now about the modern celebration and recognizing the fact that stuffed teddy bears are stashed at the back of wardrobes, half written poems are hidden inside notebooks and gigantic heart filled cards are lying under a whole heap of mattresses…if you are under twenty-five that is. If you are over twenty-five, female and attached, anticipation and expectation is mounting. If you are over twenty-five, male and attached you are a sitting duck if you don’t get those twelve red roses delivered. Actually, you may still be a sitting duck even if you do because, for some, flowers may just show a lack of thought or imagination.
So I thought I would inspire you with seven alternatives, one for every day of the week, on how you might celebrate St.Valentine’s day whether you are attached or not!
- Donate blood. Make a call and give someone else a gift that’s truly from your heart.
- Scatter some wild flowers and watch them grow throughout the year.
- Plant a tree as a symbol of your love long after you are gone.
- Book yourself, your partner or you and your partner a massage or spa break.
- Do something unexpected for a loved one…something you’ve been meaning to do but just haven’t got round to it.
- Make and send care packages for loved ones far away – music, poems, herbal concoctions, food treats etc.
- Throw an “Anti-Valentine’s Day Party,” party or have an aka “Anti-V.D. Day.
To be honest, I’m not in favour of that last one unless it is a get together with single friends to share romantic horror stories and a real good laugh. Who doesn’t need a laugh and feel loved any day of the week so…self-love, community love, long-distance love, romantic love, cuddly pet love, spiritual love, old friend love, family love (blood, adoptive, or chosen), mother-lioness love… whatever kind of love is present in your life welcome it as a blessing. There’s no need to go buying mass-produced cards, chocolates, fluffy toys or roses. After all, is buying a dozen red roses for a hugely over-inflated price on Valentine’s Day really a romantic thing to do? Sure it is…send them to me. I’ll welcome with both arms. Lack of thought and imagination? No way. I just love red roses. Go on, surprise me! Happy St. Valentine’s Day.
© Aileen McGee