After a few minutes of research, the origins of Valentine’s Day can be traced and speculated back to a few different legends.
According to the History Channel’s website, the holiday is thought to have been a romanticized, Christianized celebration declared by Pope Gelasius of an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia. During this festival, women and fields of crops were slapped with blood-soaked strips of goat’s hide in order to proliferate fertility during the Roman spring season. (Clearly nothing says “sensual” like a smack in the face with raw petting zoo scraps.)
Another, more traditional legend points to the secret, outlawed marriages performed by Saint Valentine when Emperor Claudius II decided unmarried men made for better soldiers. Last is the tale of Valentine’s imprisonment during which he met a young girl he favored quite strongly and sent a letter signed “from your Valentine.” This is said to be the first-ever sent Valentine, and unfortunately, it didn’t come with diamonds or even so much as a Blow Pop taped on it.
All in all, it comes down to the fact that when the holiday was originated, no one had intentions of roping in billions of dollars worth of bad-tasting candy hearts, cheap stuffed animals, fuzzy handcuffs or distasteful fornication dice. It was about love, sacrifice, reproduction and real-life compassion.
So when you’re at home alone pouting about not sitting in front of candle-lit surf and turf, think about this: Each and every one of us has parents who have provided us with all (or at least some) of the above forms of affection, and if not parents, plenty of people who care deeply about our very well-being. On this day your time would much more productively spent being thankful for what you actually DO have, and not lusting over the girl in your chem lab who you’ve been gawking at all semester, who’s probably going to turn you down for a last-minute date to Olive Garden anyway. Realize that the pros in your life far outweigh the cons, and don’t let your mood turn sour just because there aren’t two dozen red roses at your doorstep in the morning. They’ll be dead in a week anyway. As cliche and corny as it is, friends, family and significant others make an impact that lasts a lifetime.