Valentine's Day. Hoorah.
When you've been married over thirty years it gets tougher and tougher surprising your sweetie; nevertheless, romance is all about spontaneity and surprise, and thanks to Valentine's day, you have to be spontaneous every February 14 on the dot, like clockwork. As far as I can make out, Saint Valentine wasn't even a real person, which makes it even worse. He's one of those made up saints that just kind of showed up in the last 2000 years when everyone's back was turned. A church in New Jersey got a statue of a saint delivered, and the only label on the box said "Expedite." Now the parishioners in that church pray to St. Expedite. Supposedly he answers prayers faster than the other saints.
I don't want to grouse; I'm all in favor of romantic love. Nancy and I are passionate, crazy-mad for each other, and spend a good two to three minutes a week showing it. It could be worse. I don't think the greeting card industry, which evidently is the cornerstone of the entire economy, cares much what saint we celebrate so long as it gives them a reason to sell merchandise. Imagine instead of Valentines Day we celebrated St Ambrose Day the patron saint of bee-keepers or St Malo Day, the patron saint of pig-keepers. The thought of a opening up a present that oinks or buzzes makes candy hearts seem sort of mild, doesn't it?
I'll admit, I have a problem with the traditional gifts: candy and flowers. Flowers, and this is shamefully tight-fisted of me, I know, seem like a perfectly idiotic gift. "Here's some flowers. They cost a lot of money considering they're already dead. I hope you enjoy them looking at them until you throw them out." Candy is better, but not much. At least you can eat candy. I'd rather celebrate St George Day, the patron saint of butchers; that way instead of candy, you'd get steak. Or Corentin of Quimper, the patron saint of seafood, that way you'd get to eat lobster. Plus Corentin of Quimper is the coolest name ever, although I bet all his friends made fun of him, but he got the last laugh, being a saint and all. His friends were probably all like, "Corentin of Quimper, what kind of name is that?" Of course, their names were probably Steve of Quimper and Scott of Quimper, so they probably didn't have much room to joke about it.
I forgot where I was going with this.
So where were we? Candy. Flowers. Steak. Lobster. Pigs. Bees. I don't see why candy and flowers are especially more romantic than say, a good steak or some lobster. I admit pigs aren't romantic (unless you happen to be a pig) But it's Valentine's Day after all, and if you start messing with tradition, the Republic will fall.