It’s February, and here comes St. Valentine! That line doesn’t have quite the impact of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, nor the ring of Peter Cottontail but in February St Valentine is a star. Not bad for a Roman priest born in the third century. Let’s see Peter Cottontail match that for staying power!
Flower shops, restaurants, chocolatiers, candle makers, greeting card manufacturers and romantics will be in their element. The assorted retailers will do just fine, but the most cherished mementos will be manufactured in pre-schools and elementary school classrooms. Many small hands wielding round-nosed scissors will snip, snip around the outline of a heart in the annual school production of “a Valentine for someone special”. The moppets who create the cards will add the finishing touches, meticulously printing words of love and appreciation for the lucky recipient. Of course those cards will justifiably be treated as treasures to be tucked away in a special drawer for posterity . . . you know, like baby’s first shoes, but mercifully without the bronze.
Remember the Valentine angst as we drifted away from those carefree days of made-just-for–you Valentines? As students move on to regular scissors, Valentine’s Day moves into the realm of serious stuff. What should I do about that neat girl in Room 3? Dare I give a secret Valentine to that cute boy who sits behind me? Ah puberty − the angst and acne years.
Eventually some, but not all of us, morph into some semblance of adulthood when Valentine’s Day often means a candlelit dinner, accompanied by good wine and shared with a truly special person. With luck, if two people share enough of those adult Valentine’s Days, they will find themselves again sending cards to the cute little boys and girls in their lives, their children, and then grandchildren.
Over the years, Valentine’s Day can offer the complete range of affection and romance., but maybe the lucky ones are those who learn the wisdom of the words of author/playwright, Rose Franken who said, “anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly.”