Today, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Valentine. But which one? I don’t know, I’ve read that there were at least two. So, both, maybe. Probably, the Christian origin of this celebration has been first subsumed and finally consumed by cutural and commercial celebrations of romance, love, and sex for most of us. Which is definitely more fun.
So, while Pope Gelasius may have established the Valentine Feast in AD 496 to celebrate and honor Saint Valentine of Rome who died on this date in AD 269, it seems that Chaucer is more responsible for what were doing today.
The romantic association started within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer, way back in the 14th century. The idea of courtly love was a bit of a thing back then. Four hundred years later the English made the day, and probably the night, into one of expressions of love through flowers, confectionery, cards, lingerie, and sex toys. I’m not certain about those last two, but people are people.
That’s also when we got all of the recognized holiday symbols; little winged cupids, hearts, and doves. It didn’t take long after that, things get commercial.
Now it’s all about CVS, Hallmark, and Lovers Lane. You know, stopping at CVS to get a card, candy, and flowers. Wanting to go to Lover’s Lane but knowing that that’s not going to do you any good. Exchanging gifts and then maybe going out to dinner before settling in for a bit of Netflix and chill.
Then realizing that the chill is just because the thermostat has gone into it’s overnight setback. Which makes you realize it’s late and you need to go to bed.
I guess what I’m really saying is, Happy Valentine’s Day. Whatever you do. Whoever you’re with. Later.