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Saturday, April 20, 2024

A lovers day

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honouring one or more early saints named Valentinus, and is recognised as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

Several martyrdom stories associated with the various Valentines that were connected to February 14 were added to later martyrologies, including a popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome which indicated he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed Your Valentine as a farewell.

The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as valentines). In Europe, Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart, as well as to children, in order to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine’s Malady). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shape outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

Being married for more then 40 years now, Valentine’s Day lets me always recall lovely moments from the past.

In a very old issue of PHILADELPHIA NEWS, which is still on my desk, columnist Larry Fields confessed: “I lead a life of wine, women and song (by the way, a wonderful waltz by the Austrian king of waltz Johann Strauss!) – it’s cheaper than petrol, food and rent!”

Well, some marriages are made in heaven. You know some? I do. The best of the rest are down-to-earth. Maybe also yours? I am blessed and happy to celebrate my  wedding anniversary next month.

Maybe you remember this: “Then the prince swept the lovely young maiden into his arms and carried her home to his castle. And they live happily ever after!” Indeed, they did.

What I would like to see is an autonomous in home affairs study of all these titles of nobility bearers seven years after their happily-ever-after marriages. or even earlier, because the so-called darned and tricky seventh marriage year could be even the first one already.

The truth is that life isn’t made up of the continual highs found in the initial stages of courtship. Of course, flirting is fun and a wide groove exists. But after a while our system needs a rest. Unanimously we’re in the second stage sooner or later and our marriage life badly needs a new outside coating.

All of a sudden, the partner prefers day and night watching all the sports channels, falls asleep while you’re revealing your innermost secrets and even forgets the anniversary for the first or even second time . Just bear in mind: You’ve won each other’s acceptance  and sometimes even feel terribly gloomy. This acceptance shouldn’t be undervalued.

Even we see a house that has to be cleaned, many other things have to be organized, and the partner, who looks as fatigued and bored as you feel. Logical question: “That’s it? That WAS it?”

And suddenly, we experienced the third stage and learned why it’s worth the ups and downs. Maybe we men don’t mention any more, how incredible she looks, but we enjoy bleating and grousing at her spending innumerable hours putting her together. But then, suddenly, we men unload the garbage without being asked for it.

Although no marriage is continually blissful – it can be pretty good most of the time. When we last through arguments, money worries, and kid’s problems or slowly but surely coming up mid-life crises, we should face reality that our relationship is not always a big day celebration.

It’s because the fundamental  reason for a marriage has outlasted the craziness of day-to-day living: we love each other. That’s MY idea of “Happily ever after, indeed!”

And one more thing: in my opinion, Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be only on February 14. It doesn’t matter if one is married or not.


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