In 270 A.D., the Roman Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young battle-worthy males because he believed married men made second-rate soldiers. He wanted a land full of fighters, not lovers.
A born romantic turned bishop named Valentine believed that marriage was intended by God and refused to obey this law. To aide in continuing this natural process, he continued to secretly perform wedding ceremonies for young couples. Well, until he was caught and sentenced to die for his crimes.
In a classic tale of boy meets the wrong girl, Valentine befriended Emperor Claudius’s daughter. Through secretly written love letters, he signed “from your Valentine.”
The idea of Valentine’s Day was born. And luckily, these days you’re less apt to lose your head for the sake of love (literally at least), as the bishop eventually did, and more likely to find yourself taping Tootsie Rolls to your child’s Nickelodeon valentines.
It’s not just about romantic love anymore.
But imagine if things would have turned out a little differently for Valentine. Say his love vibe had affected the emperor and resulted in a marriage between Valentine and the daughter. Would the bishop’s handwritten “Valentines” have continued year after year, even after little baby Valentines came along?
And if he were alive today, would he still pen passionate devotions to Mrs. Valentine? Or would he get sidetracked by, say, the Food Network?
The exhilaration of sacrificing for true love or even something a little simpler like date night can be squashed by schedules, dishwashers and chocolate marathons on the aforementioned Food Network.
Their chocolate specials sidelined me for a little longer than necessary. I think my daughters grabbed a Pop Tart or maybe some butter for dinner. I’m really not sure.
Sorry girls, but this is a life lesson opportunity. Sometimes you have to sacrifice for the bigger cause. The bishop understood that. The Food Network understands that. When a string of disgustingly sweet recipes are showcased as a glorious group, there is no better time to sacrifice.
Once the spell was broken by a commercial, I slipped the kids a few M&Ms, gave the remote back and all was forgiven. Isn’t that what love is all about?
Valentine’s time can be a family event. It’s not reserved for one kind of love. It’s big enough for all types, from puppy to chocolaty. Just like a meal plan with chocolate in every course, love doesn’t have to make sense to be worthwhile.