For most of the world, Feb. 14 is just another day of another month of another year. For the United States however, and Australia, France, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom for that matter, Feb. 14 is more than just a day. It’s a celebration of love, romance, chocolate addictions, cheesy Hallmark cards and pay day for hundreds of jewelry salesmen.
Valentine’s Day is not just another day. It’s a second chance. A chance for faded love to blossom once again, a chance for men to be forgiven for all their mistakes throughout the year, a chance for women to be pampered and a chance for all singles to suddenly become aware, more so than ever before, the tragedy of their singleness.
Yes, as it so happens Valentine’s Day shares its small 24 hour window with Single Awareness Day.
But what does it mean to be single? Does singleness demand not being married? Does is it mean lacking that one special someone in your life? Is Valentine’s Day a celebration of the relationship between a couple in love? If that’s the case, than all the so called “singles” can and should celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Let’s take a brief look back at the origins of Valentine’s Day. Though there is much mystery around it, the most popular beginnings of the Day fall to a saint and martyr known as St. Valentine.
The legend contends that Emperor Claudius II of the third century in Rome thought single men made better soldiers than those with wives, therefore banned young men from getting married. Outraged by such a law, St. Valentine continued to marry young men and women in secret. He was later put to death for his actions.
This particular saint will forever go down in history as potentially the first Cupid of the Catholic Church. The modern Cupid of today, for all the pictures of a man in a loin cloth pairing up young couples by spearing them with his magic arrows, was never seen with anyone himself. Commercial Cupid is single as was St. Valentine. So if this man, whom this very special day is named after, was a tragedy of singleness, does it not make more sense to celebrate that specific part of his life?
Nevertheless, whether we celebrate the man himself or the ideas for which he was put to death for, it does not matter. Feb. 14 will forever be stamped as St. Valentine’s Day but not a day meant for those in romantic relationships. It’s a day to celebrate love. Love toward a spouse, toward a boyfriend or girlfriend, toward a child, parent, sibling or a friend. Celebrated author Jane Austin hit the nail on the head when she wrote, “There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.” Of course, she was no stranger to romance herself, as the stories go, but nevertheless.
So long as there are people in your life will there be a reason to celebrate love, and so long as there are more Valentine’s Days will there be the day after, full of candy and chocolate sales galore. Now, there’s something to celebrate.