I heart Valentine’s Day. It is a day dedicated to Love with a capital L.
Isn’t that what the world needs more of? It is a day for romantics everywhere to recommit to their one and only. A day for expressing to others how much we care for them. What’s not to heart?
I heart that Valentine’s Day is a holiday that has not yet been fit into the modern-day Efficient and Convenient Calendar. We celebrate it on Feb. 14 no matter on what day of the week it falls. It’s not yet an excuse for another three-day weekend.
I heart that the name still contains an apostrophe as a holdover from a time that seems long past. I do not care for those modernists who would remove the punctuation from the name. Again, that seems to be the thinking of efficiency experts, not those guided by a sense of tradition.
I will confess I am often remiss in leaving out the “Saint” of the original holy day name. An argument could be made that St. Valentine’s Day is in many ways an anti-modern holiday. As a curmudgeonly-type, I heart that. I heartily heart that.
On the other hand, the fact that it is no longer considered by most a religious holiday might be a good thing, in a way. If there were still a distinctive aura of Christianity about St. Valentine’s Day, I wonder if it would be so broadly accepted in our culture.
I wonder if there might be those who would be offended by such religiosity. It is very easy to be offended these days. Perhaps some would decide not to participate because it was too “churchy” or culturally insensitive. That would mean some people would miss the joy and privilege of celebrating love. I think that would be sad. I would not heart that.
I heart that one of the earliest projects I did in elementary school was making construction paper pockets which my classmates, and I would then stuff with valentines we had made or bought. I am pretty sure they still do that in schools.
One early skill we were taught was to fold a piece of paper (red) in half and then starting at the fold, draw a curving shape from top to bottom. When you cut the paper along the line you had just drawn and unfolded it, you would have a heart. Two halves making a whole. Isn’t that what love is?
I heart that I remembered to buy a card before the last minute. Some years I forget and I find myself among a crowd of other forgetful men. (The crowd is always overwhelmingly male.) We all stand staring at the nearly empty card rack at CVS and pick over the meager gleanings that remain.
Curiously, there is no pushiness, no shopping frenzy as we open and read card after card. It is a community of woeful souls who understand the ever-mounting pressure of the moment.
Chocolate is to St. Valentine’s Day as turkey is to Thanksgiving Day. I am glad of that because I heart chocolate. I especially heart dark chocolate. Sweetness is associated with love and chocolate is sweet so it seems like a good fit. I’m sure the candy makers think so.
I’m also confident that florists are pleased that flowers are part of the celebration. Some skeptics assert St. Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a scam perpetrated by Big Candy in collusion with Hallmark and FTD. I can’t agree with that. I think it is just as reasonable to believe such a cynical theory was first proposed by someone trying to buy a card at the last minute.
Let’s face it. St. Valentine’s Day has it all: romantic love, family celebration, paper construction projects, chocolate, and it’s good for the economy. You gotta heart that.
Norman Knight, a retired Clark-Pleasant Middle School teacher, writes this weekly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to email@example.com.