Ah, Valentine’s Day. As far as I can determine, February 14 became the lovers holiday because one of many Christian saints/martyrs named Valentine, according to legend, performed marriages for couples who had been forbidden to wed. Allegedly he also performed other loving acts such as ministering to persecuted Christians and restoring a blind girl’s sight.
Of course, the modern American celebration of Valentine’s Day has about as much to do with St. Valentine (whoever he was) as the modern American celebration of St. Patrick’s Day has to do with his namesake. The latter is an excuse to wear green, party and celebrate being Irish (or declare “Everyone’s Irish today!”). The latter is an excuse to do Love Stuff.
Hey, if you want to give your sweetie flowers, and/or candy and/or a mushy card, and/or have a date night, Valentine’s Day is as good a reason as any. However, I’ve been reading some posts about whether it’s appropriate for those who are not in a romantic relationship to celebrate Valentine’s Day: not just singles but families, friends and children.
The Greek language has three words for love: “Agape” is charitable, altruistic, love of all humankind. “Eros” is romantic/sexual love.” “Philia” is affectionate, friendly love or liking. It gives us such words as bibliophile (lover of books) and oenophile (lover of wine). Also pedophilia and necrophilia, but let’s not go there.
I am fortunate to be in a romantic relationship, but I would not begrudge anyone who is not in one the right to celebrate their love of family or friends as they see fit on the 14th. Whether it’s giving a card to your parent, child, sibling or BFF to remind them that you love them, having a Galentine’s Day celebration with your girlfriends, or having a classroom party in elementary school (as long as all the kids bring cards for all the other kids!), I’m all for celebrating all kinds of love.
Not every holiday should be for everyone. I’m not a mom and I rant every Mother’s Day about not wanting to be shoehorned into being celebrated on a technicality such as “But you’re a pet mom!” or “But all women are nurturers!” I’m not Jewish and will not be hurt if you leave me out of your Passover seder or Hanukkah celebration.
Valentine’s Day is different. If you love someone, anyone, or are loved by someone, you deserve to celebrate and be celebrated.
Happy V-Day to all, and to all a good night.