The other legend refers to the ancient Roman celebration, on February 14th, of Juno, the Goddess of women and marriage. On this day, the eve of the Feast of Lupercalia, young boys, who were normally kept quite separate from the girls, would draw out a piece of paper with a girls name on it. This would be the girl with whom he was to be paired for the duration of the Lupercalia festival commencing on the 15th. Often times, the pairing would last a year and sometimes, it would result in the couple falling in love and marrying.
You will notice that, in neither of the above stories does it say that Valentine’s Day is an emotional book mark that tells you it’s time to drag out all your past, lost and, to some extent, current loves, in order to beat yourself up for your (or their) perceived failings. Nor does it state, anywhere in the history books, that Valentine’s day is a holiday for single people to compare themselves unfavourably with their attached friends and/or family members.
So what is it really? Let’s review, shall we? Valentine’s Day celebrates one of two possible ancient Roman legends, the facts around which are both somewhat sketchy and vary depending on the source. One is about a man who, after breaking a dictatorial ruler’s law, fell in love whilst in prison, awaiting to be bludgeoned to death. So, its not as if Valentine, himself, had much to celebrate in love. First he was a priest, then he was a prisoner, then he was in love with a woman he could never have. And to add insult to injury, she was the daughter of the the man who sentenced him to the very death that would keep them apart for eternity! Your love life’s not looking so bad now, is it? So, the words “Be My Valentine” take on a whole new ‘sinister’ meaning when one knows this little tale.
The second legend is really not that much more romantic than the first. Boys and Girls were so starved of exposure to each other, that given the first opportunity to pair up, they would marry someone who was betrothed to them in a raffle!
Regardless of which of these legends truly brought about this holiday, neither of them has any bearing on you and your life. If you’re unhappy to be alone on Valentine’s Day, does that mean you’re okay with it the rest of the year? If yes, then that’s surely proof that you’re using this holiday as an excuse to feel victimised. If you’re not okay about being alone the rest of the year, what are you doing about it? If nothing, then get out there! Mr or Miss Right is not going to come knocking on your door, whilst you’re tucked up on a Friday night eating a curry and watching the latest release from Blockbuster. And if you’re already doing something then you can relax, because so long as you’re taking action, you will see results.
And for those of you who are single this year but weren’t last year - are you going to allow your imagination to torture you with memories from the past? Are you going to view your current life through the perspective of one day? Beat yourself up? Tell yourself that you’ll never meet anyone again? That nobody will want you or that you’ll never love another? These thoughts are nothing but that. Thoughts. Its your choice whether or not your entertain them and turn them into something with which to make yourself miserable. Your choice.
Let’s not forget those of you who are in relationships. I saw a sign on the windscreen of a porsche in a Sydney showroom; it read, “He loves me!” Expensive gifts are not love. So don’t make something mean something else. If your partner forgets its Valentine’s Day or buys you an inappropriate gift, it does notmean he or she doesn’t love you. It means they forgot or have appalling taste! Or maybe it means they don’t believe in an day which undermines love by making it obligatory and conditional.
Don’t make this a big deal. So many people use this day to focus on the fact that they haven’t got a relationship, or one has recently ended or the one they’re in isn’t as romantic as it should be. There are no rules, no right or wrong, good or bad. There’s just what you have, with or without a partner. Be vigilant. Don’t allow yourself to use this holiday as an excuse to go over to the dark side. It is yet another day on which the sun will rise and set. Just as it did yesterday. Just as it will tomorrow. Happy Valentine’s Day! . . . and I mean “Happy”