Some thoughts on Valentine's Day

I don't understand Valentine's Day. It might just be me, but why does there need to be a day to celebrate being in love?

I heard someone say that Valentine's Day is just to make unloved people feel bad about being single. I heard someone else explain it in such a great way I just had to keep telling it. "Singles Awareness Day". I just Googled it and found out it is a big deal, there's even a Wikipedia article about it!

But poor Saint Valentine; His name has been slapped on everything from here to there, with no mention of him at all. It's just Valentine's Day without Saint Valentine. So where'd he go? Wikipedia says that Pope Gelasius I said Valentine is among those "... whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God." So no one really knows? Great, just great; so where is this post supposed to go from here?

I know! I'll give him a background and a history worthy of a whole day of extreme profiteering of greeting card companies.
Thus commences the (completely) true story of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of greeting card companies. Once upon a time many years ago there was a man named Valentine. Joyce (yes that was a boy's name I looked it up) Clyde Valentine but went by JC. Joyce was the scribe of a small town in Ladrumont, England during the great lettuce famine of 463 A.D. He was given the unfortunate job of letting people know their family members had died of starvation. He hated it, but since he was fed leftover lettuce from the Governor’s table he had no choice but to comply or starve to death.
He tried his best to break the news gently, but eventually he was so associated with death notices people would hide from him and avoid him at all costs. Valentine was tired of being ostracized by the community so he packed up his clothes and left town. Unfortunately the postman was very good at finding people and kept bring him notices of deaths he was to announce. Valentine ran as far as he could, but kept being found. Finally he gave up and returned home.
He begin to try things to break the deaths nicer and nicer, but nothing was working. He tried dressing like a clown, but people begin to cry whenever the circus came to town. He tried doing puppet shows, painting pictures, sending pigeons. But nothing worked. People just were sad when he told them. Then finally when he was walking up to someone's house one day dressed in a pink cat suit carrying a green mouse prop to try an idea of making them laugh themselves into a stupor before he broke the news, he was hit with an inspiration. He ran home and got out his quill and parchment and begin to write. After finding ten thousand ways that didn't quite work, he finally had done it.
He ran with his parchment up to the door of the unfortunate house and tacked the parchment to the door. Just for good measure he left a coco bean with it (the predecessor of chocolate). Knocked, ran and hid, watching from behind a fencepost. The owner of the house opened the door, stepped out and, not seeing anyone, turned around to go back into the house. Upon turning he saw the parchment. He paused, looked at it, ripped it off the nail that was holding it and ran away. Valentine was confused and followed at a distance; the man went to Valentine's house and knocked. After a moment he knocked again and Valentine realized it was his house. He quickly ran into the house through the back door and answered the door on the third knock. The man apologized for disturbing him, but wondered if he would read him the note he had found on his door.
Valentine then realized that he was one of the only people that could read in the whole town. Disparagingly he took the paper and pretending great difficulty in reading, he told the man the contents. When he was done he continued looking at the parchment, feeling as though he had failed. When he looked up there was no one there. Somewhat confused he went to the door and looked for the man. What he saw shocked and scared him. It seemed as though the whole town was walking to his door. Afraid that he had made the man angry he scrambled to get out the back door, but the crowd caught him before he could retreat. The man came up to him and to Valentine's surprise asked him to read it again! Valentine, confused read the parchment again, worrying about his fate. But when he finished there was a reverent hush over the crowd. Some people were wiping tears from their eyes. The man thanked Valentine for reading the parchment, too it and walked away, the crowd slowly dispersed. Valentine wondered what had happened, but since no one was angry or trying to kill him for being the bearer of bad news he took it as a good thing.
So the next time he was to deliver a death notice he did the same thing, and once again the same thing happened. People eventually realized it was him writing the notes and started asking if he would write one for weddings, birthdays and other special occasions. Valentine realized this was a good thing and begin to enjoy his job.
When the lettuce famine ended he continued this business full time and eventually had students around his feet asking him the secret to his notes. When all this rose to the king’s ear, he summoned Valentine and asked for a note for his wife. When Valentine gave him one the queen loved it so much she told the king he should make Valentine an official. Valentine respectfully declined the job returning to his humble home and continued making cards.
The king, still wanting to do something for Valentine made the 14th day of the second month officially Valentine's day to honor Valentine. Eventually a card made its way to the Pope and the pope made Valentine a saint. Since then every February 14th has been Valentine's Day in honor of the man who made death more bearable.

Well there you go. A definitive history of Saint Valentine. I hope you enjoyed it.

Don't forget S.A.D.