Ahhhh, Valentines's Day. It's the day after tomorrow, ya know. (Consider this a public service announcement, guys, just in case it slipped your mind.) Yep, the day of loooooove... also of chocolates, red roses, and heart-shaped you-name-its. Oh, and sappy sentimental cards. Mustn't forget the cards.
I'll never forget some of the romantic cards and gifts Smarticus has given me over the years. (sigh) We were all of twelve or thirteen the very first time he wrote a poem (just for me!) in my autograph book. It went like this: Roses are red; violets are blue. You've got a shape like a B-52. I mean, doesn't that send shivers of sheer delight up and down your spine?
We weren't much older that that when he extended a lovely decorated box toward me, smiled seductively, and told me to open it. When I did, I found a barf-worthy severed finger lying atop a fluffy bed of cotton. It was his finger, of course, stuck through a hole in the box bottom and doctored up to look as disgusting as he could make it. Yeah, I know. Smartius was a bit of a farticus in those days.
But, what can I say? I married him anyway. How could I not? He's a gen-u-ine original, and even after all these years, he still knows how to make my heart sing.
Talking about original, have you ever wondered who St. Valentine was and why he's associated with a feast day devoted to love? Why we associate this day with the color red... with red roses in particular... and why we exchange Valentines?
Well, then, you've come to the right place.
Our man Valentine was a priest in Rome during the reign of Claudius the Cruel, an emperor with an unholy affinity for declaring war. In fact, this dude's wars were so frequent and so unpopular, it got to where very few men were joining the military. The emperor, who was evidently just as stupid as he was cruel, decided the only reason men weren't rushing to fight his wonderful wars was because they were too darned attached to their wives and family. So he came up with a solution. He banned marriages.
But fear not. Our hero priest continued to perform marriage ceremonies in secret. That is, until the mean ol' emperor found out about it, and had him killed. By beating, stoning, and then beheading. (Talk about overkill.) Valentine was killed on February 14, 270.
Legend has it that he left a special note for the jailer's daughter, and signed it... from your Valentine.
So, why the color red, you ask? For obvious reasons, blood red is the color of martyrs. And thanks to the martyred St. Valentine... it also became the color of love. Red roses represent Venus, the goddess of love. And Valentine himself sent the first Valentine card. St. Valentine's feast day was established in 496, but it didn't become recognized as a lovers' holiday and big day of romance until ten centuries later, when popular belief held that the fourteenth of February marked the start of mating season for birds.
So, if you consider Valentine's Day to be for the birds... you aren't entirely wrong.
Just kidding. He's actually quite the romantic. (But I sure am glad he didn't know about St. Valentine losing his head over love when we were kids. The finger was bad enough.)
He's outgrown sending this kind of card, but he isn't above laughing at them. Neither am I. With sincere thanks to our friend and fellow amateur radio operator Bill, who sent these cards to me, I present to you cards some of the world's most notorious despots might have sent, because ya know... even bad guys need love.
Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in muddy boots.
Lots of things are considered aphrodisiacs... like big red juicy strawberries, and rich dark chocolate... or better yet, big red juicy strawberries dipped in rich dark chocolate...
Um, where was I?
Oh, yeah. I wanted to tell you guys about one of the best aphrodisiacs of all time. Wanta put your lady love in the mood? Do the dinner dishes. I tell ya, nothing is as sexy to a woman as seeing her man tackling a load of dishes while she's in the easy chair with her feet propped up... eating strawberries dipped in chocolate. Or if ya reeeeeally want to make her weak in the knees... clean the toilet bowl.
|Put a lotta love in your heart|
Anyhow, whether you celebrate in a small way, or whether you go reeeally BIG...
Happy Valentine's Day, y'all. But wouldn't it be nice if we celebrated love... every day?
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
Never go to bed mad--- stay up and fight. [Phyllis Diller]