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The Northerner

Valentines need preparation

Steve Funaro

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Ahh…Valentine’s Day. How do I love thee. Let me count the ways. One. . . um . . One-and-a-half. OK forget it.

Now is that time of year to give something special to your one-and-only, or to take a chance on getting a new love. Why do we do this? It is the most romantic day of the year of course. But what about people who have a hard time enjoying the evening? Well maybe I can help with that.

First here’s a quick history of the holiday. There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. Some say that it originated from St.Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. Some believe he married young couples in secret. On one of these occasions he was captured and put into jail. It is said that he died on Feb. 14, the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Love lotteries were when girls placed their names in a barrel and boys choose a name. Whomever they chose was the person they spent the day, evening or all night with.

Stories say that Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend and visited him in jail. He signed it “From Your Valentine.”

In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside Feb. 14 to honor St. Valentine. Why this particular day? Was it because of the love lotteries (a pagan holiday) or some other reason? I think it was something else. Think about it, February is a horrible month. It is cold, the sun is not out much and there are no good holidays in sight. By making a big holiday at the beginning of the year, it can help cheer people up in an otherwise dreary time.

Just thinking about getting ready for Valentine’s Day makes me nervous. I am never prepared on time, and over the years I have come across two very useful resources for those of us last-minute people.

The first Web site is http://www.romantic-ideas.co.uk/. This site helps prepare you to be a bit more romantic. It helps you prepare a good dinner, gives a list of romantic quotes and lists many other ideas for helping your night end with a bang.

The other is a bit less snappy but useful. At http://www.holidays.net/amore/ you can find online card-making and a few other links to help you get ready at the last minute.

So now you have those Web sites and a bit of history of the holiday itself to discuss on your date. Hopefully this will be as helpful to you as it was to me. That is if you think that this holiday is anything more than a trumped-up commercial day intended to play on the emotions of women.

But who am I to disagree with them. Valentine’s Day isn’t all bad, even if the commercialization of it is.

Steve Funaro is a senior history major and a member of the College Republicans at NKU. You can contact Steve at SFunaro@gmail.com.

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Valentines need preparation