Sunday, February 8, 2009

Musings on a holiday

And so, my children, Valentine was martyred for performing marriages after the emperor of Rome banned marriage on the grounds that marriage made men weak and ineffective as soldiers. In Valentine's honor, the Church co-opted the Festival of Lupercalia (fertility, wolves, general merriment and frolicking) which eventually led to the holiday we know as Valentine's Day.

A day which rivals Christmas in consumerism and Easter in its wtf-ness. So,....Jesus and Valentine were killed, and we celebrate this with chocolate and jelly beans and bunnies and sparkly things? Yes. Yes we do. I have nothing against chocolate or jelly bean or bunnies or sparkly things - ok, maybe there are some bizarre flavors of jelly beans I could do without, but other than that, I like chocolate and bunnies and sparkly things.

The major Christian holidays have many Pagan elements to them, which works well for Christmas, but is majorly confusing for Easter. Crucifixion and fluffy bunnies and colored eggs and candy? Death and fertility at the same time? At a really cosmic level that works, but on the surface - wtf?

Which brings me back to Valentine's Day. A day that builds ridiculous expectations and pressures, much like Christmas, but is focused on one relationship rather than all relationships. A day of enforced sentiment and outward display. It reminds me of Ming the Merciless "All citizens will make merry. Upon pain of death". You will be romantic, and you will show romance by buying dinner, flowers, candy and jewels, because we say so. If you don't do this, you are a bad person. If no one does this for you, you are worthless.

I say this while profiting from this holiday - people like to buy extra-fancy chocolates, and I provide them. The kitchen is running two weeks straight to meet the demand. Piracy must be in my blood. I won't be starting a social revolution over it, or run around chanting "make everyday Valentine's Day" or trying to abolish the crass commercialism of the holiday. I'll just be making candy for the people who are into being romantic on cue. Maybe that's my real problem - I don't like being told how to feel or how to express my feelings.

However, February is a dreary month; a holiday is a marvelous idea. Maybe we should bring back Lupercalia......


Bree said...

1. This is why we call it "Singles Awareness Day"

2. LOL @ Ming the Merciless!

3. It does give a good excuse to send pretty cards to people...something I love to do but get distracted and rarely do. :)

Bridgete said...

Aside from "Singles Awareness Day," I also call it "Friend's Day." And this year, I'm spending it with friends. As it should be.

ginger said...

fertility and wolves, huh? don't tell sarah palin, she'll try to shoot valentine's day.

Jenn said...

LMAO at Ginger's comment hahaha!

You know much of what you say here is the very reason I just do not celebrate V-Day. Matt thought I was just being nice the first year I told him I think V-Day is a lovely Hallmark holiday that I have no use for so he got me something & since I was being serious, I got him nothing. I think he was shocked but I told him to buy me some love card on March 6th instead, if that's when he felt like telling me he loved me.

You miss my birthday though, we got issues :)