The festival of Lupercalia was a Roman celebration, and I am told that while it survived early Christianity, Pope Gelasius replaced it with St. Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t until much later it became associated with love. And has it ever. Candy confectioners, manufacturers of Valentines trinkets, restaurateurs, spas, cosmetic companies and more have capitalized on the promotion of the holiday of love to the tune of just under $30 billion per year! And how about Hallmark? The cards and the movies. Love is in the air.
Has Valentine’s Day changed through the years? Yes. In more ways than one. Remember when you were a kid in school and your classmates would exchange Valentines? Remember how happy you would be to receive more Valentines than the other kids? Or how sad you would be if you didn’t receive as many as the other children? Well, fast forward to the all grown up you in a big boy or big girl relationship. If you know what’s good for you, you’d best not be out there trying to get the most Valentines or you might be needing one of those Valentines Day motel rooms for one when you are ejected from your house. Just sayin’ (Always looking out for you).
I was never into the celebrations most people are into. Birthdays for one. Oh, I’m all into celebrating yours, but not so much mine. I will celebrate your’s because you do. But I always felt that while I’m thankful for each year I’ve lived, and certainly each time I’m given another year, all I did was show up. My mother did the work, so I always thought she should get the flowers and presents.
After childhood, Valentine’s Day didn’t mean much to me either. I just felt it was another day to enhance the economy and little more. However, try handing that to your wife guys. Just kidding, don’t try that! Remember that motel room for one? You may need it again.
When I discovered how much it meant to my wife, I eventually fell in line (eventually the operative word here. I’m not a quick study). Remember, “Happy wife, Happy Life!” Oh, don’t misunderstand me, I am not to Don Juan (ask your parents. They’ll tell you who that was) status, but I try to get into the spirit of the whole Valentine’s Day thing. Of course, it helps having the Hallmark Channel flood my conscience with movie after movie touting the glory of the holiday beginning immediately after Christmas. Besides, it’s not a bad place to get some ideas as to what she likes.
Day-to-day life has us so busy that we often forget about that person we share our life with. We work so hard trying to keep up with the bills, the kids, and the appointments that not only do we not always remember the needs of our mate, but we can forget about our own. When that happens, we are way too busy.
When you look at it in those terms, birthdays, Sweetest Day, anniversaries, and yes, Valentine’s Day does serve a purpose other than revenue enhancement for the national economy.
Perhaps those days are reminders that we should stop for a moment, take a breath and look at the people who share our lives. That husband or wife who works just as hard, maybe even harder than you do to make it all come together.
I always used to joke with my pals that their wives deserve an award of some kind for “putting up” with them all these years. But then I look at my wife, and I realize that is a true statement. She does deserve an award for her hard work on the job, in our home, with our kids, our grandkids and for putting up with me.
Yes, Valentine’s Day has changed through the years, but maybe the biggest change is how I see it.
So, to my friend, my confidant, my lover, my wife, Patty, Happy Valentine’s Day.
Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at http://www.HerbDayVoices.com and http://www.HerbDayRadio.com.