It took me three husbands to understand that gift giving isn’t really a man’s thing. I used to think that my man would put as much thought into making me feel special and loved and appreciated as I put into making him feel that way. But I was wrong. My third husband explained to me that men are simple and they don’t have a clue what we want. Therefore, it is the woman’s responsibility to tell him exactly what she wants and in many cases she might as well go buy it, wrap it and obviously open it too.
Like we needed more responsibility right? It was then that I gave up that responsibility and relieved myself of the pressure of even hoping for a gift from him. He in turn thought it was great that I would be handling my own gift giving (if I ever wanted one) and that battle was over.
In reality it was just another step closer to the end of our relationship. After all, it isn’t much of a relationship if being thoughtful is a one way street. During the last several years of our marriage I received no gifts from my husband. Thinking back that’s really sad. I honestly cannot remember the last time any man gave me a gift or a card on Valentine’s Day. Thank goodness things like that aren’t really important.
So what’s the big deal about Valentine’s Day? The history of the holiday is sketchy at best. From what I gather it started either when a priest named Valentinus performed marriages for young lovers that had been forbidden by the Roman Government because they felt that single men made better soldiers than married men.
Another version is that the then imprisoned Valentinus had fallen in love with the daughter of his jailer. Just prior to his execution he sent her a love note and signed it Your Valentine. I guess we’ll go with that. I don’t know when the candy and flowers got added but it doesn’t really matter. Valentine’s Day is for lovers. I get it. If you don’t have one right now I guess you’re sh#% out of luck. No not really. You have to get over feeling sorry for yourself if no one buys you a gift or sends you a card. Either ignore the day completely or make it about something else.
Here’s a fun fact. During the 1800’s and early 1900’s the practice of giving Valentine’s cards had become popular. They were originally hand made and primarily by women. Women like puppies and kittens and babies. That’s right, babies. They drew these cards and over time card manufacturers added winged cherubs to the mix. Then along came the cherub with the arrows of love and someone decided that he was cupid.
Cupid as you may recall was the son of Venus who shot arrows into the hearts of others causing them to fall madly in love. He ended up marrying a mortal named Psyche but that’s a whole different story. Long story short this love arrow toting manly god became the spokesman for Valentine’s Day and was depicted as a winged baby.
I hope you’re giggling now. I hope you realize that no one really knows why we celebrate Valentine’s Day, except to make money for retailers. There’s nothing to be upset about if you don’t have a lover on Valentine’s Day. Buy yourself a card and flowers. Make the day about the kids. Bake some cookies or make homemade cards. Send a little gift to a friend. Smile at a stranger. Take a deep breath and concentrate on who is in your life. And honey, love the ones you’re with.