I’ve never been that much of a fan of Valentine’s Day. Even now that I have a steady boyfriend I’m not that crazy about it. It has always seemed a bit too commercial for me, but I always loved the story of how Valentine’s Day came to exist. The most prominent myth is that a priest named Valentine defied the decree of the Holy Roman Emperor Claudius II that soldiers could not marry. Valentine, it is said, believed the law was unjust and secretly performed marriage ceremonies between soldiers and the women they loved. Ultimately, Valentine was caught and imprisoned, but even then he would marry any young couple that clandestinely visited his cell. Valentine was a man who believed that nothing could stand in the way of love and he eventually gained sainthood for his beliefs. It is such a romantic story, and the special day to celebrate St. Valentine was supposed to truly be about the celebration of love, but what started out as a simple holiday has changed, drastically. Is it still possible to enjoy this holiday without it feeling forced?
St. Valentine’s Day has turned love into something of a national commercial, but I still think women want to enjoy it. We all want to be pampered, I know, but I also know we girls have to protect ourselves. Protect us from what, you ask? Protect us from the cruelest part of this holiday–the chocolate. Good God, the chocolate! Valentine’s Day comes so close after the major food-stuffing holidays, and just when we are starting to take off the ten pounds we put on, along comes our guy presenting us with a five-pound box of chocolates he bought at the mall.
And how often has a woman received a nicely wrapped box from her boyfriend, picked it up and heard herself internally say, “Uh-oh.” The box is light. Too light and it can only mean one thing: lingerie. Without even opening it she can already envision the contents. Images of red underwear with an attached bustier designed to “lift and separate” invade her thoughts. Her palms sweat as she opens up the box to reveal the lacy nightmare that surely was concocted as more of a gift for him than for her. Most often these gifts are not vindictive so much as most poor guys have no idea what else to get. Don’t let this happen to you.