As I prep for Valentine's Day festivities, aka having the boxes and treats ready for all four kids, I realize why St. Valentine was stoned to death and beheaded.
This holiday is the worst!
And right on the back of the kids 100-day celebration at school, where all the Martha Stewart moms come out of the woodwork to show off their Pinterest-worthy crafts. I sent in Ziploc bags with 100 marshmallows and cookies.
Oh shoot, I forget to take a picture.
So here we are, forced to stand over our children making them write cards to all their classmates because some folklore says that a blind girl fell in love with Valentine while he was in prison and they exchanged cards in which he would sign his, "Your Valentine." When he was martyred it is said she miraculously gained her eyesight and that was his final act of love.
First off, no one can validate this story is true. Historians say this may have just been conjured up on the back of the actual story of St. Valentine, a martyred priest who performed Christian marriages in secret. In fact, like so many other holidays, we just substituted it in for the pagan celebration, the feast of Lupercalia, which was a festival of love. Down with medieval Woodstock!
Anyway, that's a lot of history. The point is, what we took from all this is the passing of notes and presents to the people we "love," forcing our love upon them and expecting them to reciprocate at this specific date in time. I feel this is just a recipe for disappointment and totally unnecessary. It gives me an uncomfortable feeling ... like when someone is crying and you feel like you should do something but you're not sure what.
Why must it be like this?
I have some suggestions that I feel would help better commemorate the honorable St. Valentine and liven up this holiday:
1. We should play pin the head on Valentine ... obviously! He was beheaded and his girlfriend was blind. Two birds, one stone. And speaking of stones ...
2. Start throwing candy at people. Especially people showing PDA. Think about it. Valentine was stoned to death. We roll eggs down a hill at Easter to illustrate the rock rolling away from Jesus' tomb. Why not throw chocolates to draw a comparison to the stoning of Valentine?
3. We give each other little symbolic plastic rings in secret. If you get caught exchanging rings you go to jail (unless you pay bail - fundraiser perhaps) and you lose all your rings. The person with the most rings at the end of the day gets to break open a store-bought piņata. Why? Because it's fun!
4. We eat as much Italian food as humanly possible. St. Valentine was Italian and I'm not sure he got a last super before he was executed. We can have it for him.
5. If you see someone kissing, you can punch them in the shoulder. Just like when you get pinched on St. Patrick's Day for not wearing green. I'm pretty sure Valentine took a beating and would appreciate our suffering.
6. We tell everyone the truth about everything. It's already not a great day for many, so why not take this opportunity to tell them the truth. What does this have to do with Valentine? Well, I believe real love can only start when you're truly honest with yourself and others. If you can't literally brush the crumbs off someone's face, at least tell them they're there. That's love.
7. All children have to go to bed early. The children are evidence of love and must be hidden. You're all welcome.
These are just a few of my ideas. I hope everyone has a great day and I love you all.
Jen Reekie was born and raised in Quincy and received a communications degree at the University of Kansas, which has come in quite handy as she communicates every day with four children who don't hear a word she says. This stay-at-home mom enjoys the challenge, though, and shares her experiences in this blog, "Mum's the Word." She welcomes your feedback, questions and stories about staying sane while raising kids.