Suppose they create an artificial holiday. Do I have to participate?
Today is Valentine’s Day, and I admit I struggle with the observance of it. It seems so artificial somehow, one day out of 365 in the year set aside to celebrate love. Shouldn’t we be celebrating love every day?
I’m not sure how historically accurate the stories of St. Valentine are, but I suppose that doesn’t matter. He definitely had nothing to do with pretty pink cards, flowers or chocolate. Those items have been added after the fact for commercial purposes. Being somewhat of a curmudgeon, I’m not overly thrilled at anyone who invents ways for me to spend my hard-earned money on ephemera.
There is though the problem of being a child of my generation and a product of my society. I have had the importance of Valentine’s Day drilled into me practically from infancy. Intellectually I am not engaged with the day; emotionally I have this urge to buy roses and chocolate and a card.
I probably also should be taking my wife out to dinner, except we’re not in the same city tonight. Not even on the same continent in fact – I’m traveling on business. So no dinner, no chocolates delivered to her bedside as she wakes up, no roses dropped off at work. None of the usual Valentine’s Day trappings. And yes, I know I could arrange for those things, but I’m selfish – I like to see the look on her face when she receives a gift. I did leave her some heart-shaped salami for her lunch.
What she does have, today and every day, is the knowledge that I love her. Maybe I’ll bring some chocolate home from this trip. Though she would probably prefer salted licorice.