Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Blame The Pope

Yes, I do. It's his fault.
More specifically, it's the fault of Pope Gelasius I.
He's the one that made Valentine's Day an official church holiday in 496 AD.

Some people have also blamed Geoffery Chaucer,
who wrote some romantic nonsense about it in 1382.

But wait, let's not stop there.
There's plenty of blame to go around.

The earliest surviving valentine was written in the fifteenth century by
Charles, Duke of Orleans.

Hamlet mentions it in 1600.

In 1797, a British publisher came out with a booklet containing sloppy sentimental verses
for gentlemen too unimaginative to think of their own.
Embellished valentines then flourished in the UK.
Sadly, the custom trickled across the pond, and in the mid 1800's,
they began being mass-produced here in the States.

That's Esther Howland's fault.
She was so besotted by one of the English ones she received
that she got her father's book & stationary store to start selling them.
It's so much her fault that the Greeting Card Association gives out an annual
"Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary".
Makes me want to puke.

The rest is Hallmark history.

disclaimer: I found all this on Wiki, so it may all be hooey anyway.

Here's the thing.
Valentine's Day is clearly an excuse to make men feel unworthy
unless they ply their wives/girlfriends with cards, candy, chocolate,
jewels, and other manner of sentimental gifts.
Of course, the women reciprocate with sloppy sentimentality of their own.

It is not a holiday to exchange these things with parents, children,
brothers, sisters, dogs, cats, co-workers, or classmates.

If you don't have one of those sweethearts, Valentine's Day is endured, not celebrated.
It makes me want to curl my lip & growl like Clint Eastwood in "Gran Torino"
(one of the best movies ever made, by the way).

Having said that,
*sheepishly hangs head*
thank you Pop and Brother for the Valentines I got in the mail today.

Mom, I hope you believed me when I said I didn't want one,
'cause BS & I will be seeing you Sunday for lunch & a movie,
and I didn't get you one.
I didn't get BS one either.
Or Pop or Brother.

Of course, this is all blatant and unabashed sour grapes on my part.
I seem to recall writing something along these lines last year around this time too.
So . . .


Anonymous said...

"I hate your rotten, lousy, stinkin' guts, but I'm not bitter!" ;-) Who sang that?
Very funny. You're too much. Great entry.

Sista G said...

Oh, I have to agree!! I'm convinced that Valentine's Day was a conspiracy between the greeting card industry, the floral industry and the chocolate industry. Do ya ever notice that all the ads for Valentine's Day are invariably all bout what they guy can give to the gal, and not vice-versa???

Just look at the racks and racks of Valentine cards in the stores - aside from lineal family members, there are categories for Aunt/Uncle, Teacher, Friend, Dog/Cat, Neighbor, Anyone, Plumber, Gardener (OK, maybe I'm going overboard...). It's gotten WWWAAAYYY too crazy!

My cose word today was "trasms" - that actually sounds like a cool word, like "whoa, that just gave me trasms".

Kathy said...

"Trasms" sounds dirty.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I agree, Kathy.
"Trasms" is dirty.

I came here to say, "HOLY CRAP, forget about the dozen long-stem red roses I was going to send you. I'll just keep them."

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Oh. My word was subvjmi.
That too sounds risque.

Your Brother said...

I am glad you liked your card.