St. Valentine’s Day started with the legends of at least two, maybe three Christian martyrs known by the name Valentine. There are many stories that have been written throughout the ages about these individuals. You can check out this site for one story on the Irish St. Valentine who betrayed an order from the Roman Emperor and was beaten and beheaded for his efforts. Or here for a similar story about a Valentine in Rome. Regardless of what story you believe, February 14th became a day for feasting in the martyr’s honor.
It wasn’t until the time of Geoffrey Chaucer and the renaissance age that St. Valentine’s Day became synonymous with courtly love, which flourished at this time. By the eighteenth century the expression of love included giving gifts of flowers and candy and perhaps a hand written love letter.
Today we buy our love letters at the Hallmark store and our candy and flowers at the local grocery store as retailers find excuses for us to part with our money, but we still celebrate this day as the official day to express our love and a reason to go out to dinner.
I am not your typical romantic. I think romance is found in the little things. The holding of hands, the quiet smiles, the kiss for no reason other than the mood struck you. It’s knowing without a doubt that the person who says “I love you” really means it.
To me romance is cooking an elegant dinner with the man in my life, both of us circling the stove and adding ingredients to make an amazing meal, then sitting down together and enjoying not only the food but the companionship that made the meal possible.
I won’t win any “romantic partner of the year” awards. I don’t mince words. I say what’s on my mind, good or bad. So when I say, “I love you,” it’s because I mean it. And when I say, “You forgot to empty the garbage…again,” well, I meant that to.
Truth is we are all human and we have our good and bad days. I “see” how much my boyfriend cares about me every day when I get home and the wood stove is going and the house is filled with warmth and he has been working hard on items for our shop or building our new website or doing errands and housework. He fills all this in between is real estate work and his graphic design contract work. And yet he still finds time to cook a nice dinner and sit down with me and ask me how my day was.
In a way, my boyfriend is my own personal martyr giving up his freedom and personal time to spend extra time with me. And when he says, “I love you,” I know he really means it.