Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Martyr's Day!

It's that time again. I won't go into the reasons I detest the modern celebration of Saint Valentine's Day (if you're interested, you can read them here ), but I will say that, every year I think more about the historical Valentine, I become more convinced that the modern practices of the day should be totally scrapped.

I'm not a female, but maybe one of you can chime in and tell me how romantic it is if your man buys flowers, chocolates, etc. for you on the one day that they are told by the entire culture and shouted at for weeks by store, TV, and radio advertisements how they need to. Let's face it, the majority of American males, even those who passionately love their female companions, are not getting them flowers on this day because of their undying love; they're doing it because they've been guilted into it and feel like their wives have an expectation for it. They're doing it because they are told to.

It doesn't seem to me that romantic attention on this day means much: everyone else is doing it, and you're made to feel bad if you don't participate (however it is that culture tells you to particpate). Buying someone a card, flowers, or chocolate on Valentine's Day to show your affection is rather like showing your love to your significant other by wearing the same clothes you would have anyway or doing some "special job" for her/him that you would have done anyway. It even seems comparable to trying to show your wife you life her by doing your taxes. It seems to me that this day's observances are, in reality, anti-romantic.

All of this is easy for me to say. I don't have a significant other. I am, along with millions of others on this day, celebrating Single's Awareness Day (or S.A.D for short). Perhaps my feelings about the holiday are simply my resentment toward being single bubbling up in me. Funny how I don't feel that resentful though.

But I don't think I'm going to celebrate modern Valentine's Day even if/when I get married either. Of course I'll have to talk that one over with my wife, but it seems much more appropriate to have a spontaneous day of romance at another time (a week later when everything is 75% off!) instead of following the dictates of the combined efforts of Hollywood and Wall-Street marketers, very few of whom have probably even had dinner with their own families in a very long time. Believe me, when I need advice on romance, I won't be going to Wal-Mart or Hershy's executives for for it. Instead, I'd like my family to observe this day as what it was originally intended to be: a celebration of Christ's martyrs, those whose blood has been the seed of the Church. Ultimately, that's a reflection of the most romantic action that has ever taken place in the entire history of the human race: Christ's self-giving sacrifice for his beloved Bride.