Happy Valentine’s Day

One version of the origin of Valentine’s day goes back to 270 A.D. when a bishop by this name clashed with Roman Emperor Claudius II, who had prohibited young men to marry based on his belief that matrimony would interfere with soldiering. Going behind his leader’s back, the bishop performed covert marriage services for soldiers and for his efforts was sentenced to be executed.  While in prison awaiting his execution, he is said to have aided his jailor and the jailor’s blind daughter, while also forming a friendship with the daughter. On his last day on earth, he asked for pen and paper and wrote his farewell message to the daughter, signing it “from your Valentine.”  From Rome the tradition of giving Valentines to sweethearts traveled to England and France and by the 1840’s had settled down in the U.S.

I have always thought of Valentine’s Day as a day to honor friendship as well as love. As a child, I remember always looking forward to Valentine’s Day parties in school. Each of us decorated an envelope and wrote our name on it, which the teacher taped to the wall.  At some point in the day we were allowed to deliver our Valentines to each others’ envelopes, but had to wait until the school day ended before we could peek into our envelopes and see who had remembered us.   As I got older, I remember feeling a lot of uncertainty as to which boys would receive my Valentines and mentally went back and forth on this issue for several days before making my final decisions.  On the big day, when at last I had gotten my envelope home, I went into my bedroom, shut the door, and carefully studied each paper treasure I had received.  I remember being disappointed when the right boy didn’t give me a Valentine, but I also knew that in grade school most boys weren’t nearly as excited about Valentine’s Day as I was.  After a few days my Valentines went into the garbage and these slights soon faded.   St. Patrick’s Day was around the corner, and I had to start searching for the perfect green article of clothing to avoid being pinched.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness.
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One Response to Happy Valentine’s Day

  1. Lydia says:

    How interesting. Thanks Ann. Happy Valentines to you! 🙂 Lydia

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