I always used to hate Valentine’s Day, probably because it gave all the more popular, prettier girls in school an opportunity to boast about how many cards they had received whilst I never received any. I consider it a night which is overpriced, over commercialised and is a bit of a poke in the eye for anyone who isn’t currently in a relationship.
Also, with a distinct lack of babysitters at the moment, going out for a romantic dinner is pretty much off the cards.
But I do like to make an effort and we’ve swapped cards this morning and tonight I will be cooking a three course meal. I love cooking and a chance to try out new recipes so I’ve spent the day doing my domestic goddess bit and feeling very happy with myself. Let’s hope the dishes work out and I’m feeling just as happy by the end of the night!
Anyway, for those of you who have ever wondered about the origins of Valentine’s Day, here’s a bit of history.
St Valentine was an early Italian Christian Saint dating back to around 269 AD. At that time the Emperor had decided that single men made better soldiers and Valentine was imprisoned in Rome for performing secret marriages. During his imprisonment the Jailor;s blind daughter who studied scripture and prayed with him was miraculously cured. But this miracle could not save Valentine and before his execution on 14 February he’s said to have written her a farewell note – From Your Valentine.
So whilst Valentine’s Day does represent the love between two people, the day itself is rather sad.
It’s not just those who are alone who may have reason not to like Valentine’s Day though. In the 19th and 20th centuries unflattering “vinegar” Valentines were produced to send to people as an insult.
Here’s one that I came across:
“You’ve had your day my dear,
Remember your age if you can,
People can see without looking,
You’re mutton dressed as lamb.”
Charming! I’d be quite glad not to receive a card if the alternative was that!
Here’s something that is rather sweet though. Sending messages via sweets has been around since Victorian times. Early unromantic examples like “Take ye not to strong drink” soon gave way to phrases like “Can you Polka?” or “Love me” on floral scented sweets.
I like the originality of this. So that’s why tonight I’ll be cooking a meal for my husband rather than buying him a present. I think the personal touch works every time.
Happy Valentine’s day everyone. And even if you are alone, have a fab time and be your own Valentine.