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On a recent cold and snowy morning, I had to trudge through inclement weather to get to the local supermarket for...
Presidents Day is in honor of Presidents Washington and Lincoln. Valentines Day is in honor of former President Bill Clinton.
On a recent cold and snowy morning, I had to trudge through inclement weather to get to the local supermarket for some ice-melter for my snow-encased car. I noticed an old man in his 80s, with a walker, barely able to maneuver through the snow. We both entered the store at the same time. He was shivering from the cold. What was so important to compel this elderly gentleman to walk to the supermarket on such a treacherous day?
As I was perusing the store, the loudspeaker announced that the stores computer system had crashed and a calculator was being used to manually total purchases. Because of this problem, the checkout line had become quite long. Many customers left the store in frustration. I, however, remained on the line because I needed the ice-melter.
I noticed the old man standing in front of me, tightly clutching his one purchase. When he finally reached the cashier, he placed his lone item on the counter. It was a small Valentines Day card that read, I am happy that you are my wife.
Then there was this Valentines Day card which brought tears to my eyes. It read and I quote, Dear Gerard, Be my Valentine. Words cannot express how much I regret breaking off our engagement. Will you please come back to me? Your absence leaves a void no one else can fill. Please forgive me and let us start all over again. I need you so very much. Yours forever, Beryl. P.S. Congratulations on your winning the lottery.
Ah, yes, Valentines Day is the day of love. As most of us know, it is the most perfect time to tell that most perfect someone that you care. But, would you believe, the Feb. 14 holiday is the anniversary of the death of St. Valentine, who was a martyr of the early Christian church? So, why, pray tell, was this morbid date chosen for us sweethearts to exchange messages of love and sentiment to each other? This is not a quiz, so I will tell you. I dont know. And neither does anyone else, for it is not known for certain how it originated. But there are many theories and you are welcome to choose the one that best tickles your fancy.
One involves good ol' St. Valentine, a humble physician and a Christian bishop. Although he healed patients with his herbs, powders, and prayers, he was always in great danger because of the Romans attitude toward Christians. He remained steadfast to the Christian faith despite the brutal religious persecution by Emperor Claudius. For this and because he continued performing marriage ceremonies for young people despite Claudius ban on such things (since he wanted more young men for his army) he was cast into the Emperor's prison and subsequently beheaded. (I guess this is why people lose their heads when they fall in love). Valentine was said to have befriended the jailers daughter, and sent a farewell letter to her on his execution day, signing it, From your Valentine.
St. valentine also loved children. His young friends missed him very much and they threw messages to him through the jail-cell window.
Valentines martyrdom is supposed to have taken place on Feb. 14, 269 (three years after Strom Thurmond was first elected U.S. senator). The anniversary of St. Valentine's death is now observed as a day for the exchange of love messages and tokens of affection. It is also the day to throw love messages through the jail-cell window of elected officials, who swear they unlawfully did what they did so elected officials from the other party wouldnt have the opportunity to do it first.
However, the actual origin of St. Valentine's Day still remains a mystery because there is nothing in the life of the Saint to which any such observance can be traced. But, another, more plausible explanation has arisen. Count Johnnie Brutus Cochran 11 (the famed barrister of Julius Caesar) knew that birds begin to mate on this day. Over his objections, he saw that people were following suit. He did his best to suppress this growing embarrassment by distributing volumes of research material, spelled out in 868,618 pages. Love was for the birds. But, to no avail. St. Valentine's Day was here to stay.
As for me, I keep forgetting Valentines Day. Gloria put me on notice that if I forget one more time, it will be Moving Day. Last year, I asked her what she liked best about me my great body or my rugged good looks. Gloria eyed me head to foot and answered, Your sense of humor. She even posted her Valentines Day card on my shaving mirror. It read, Valentine's Day is made for love that's dandy. But you can forget all the kisses, If you forget the flowers and candy.
So, in desperation, I will present her with a poem I received from an anonymous reader from Little Neck, entitled simply, Valentine.
<i>Oh, little, loveliest lady mine. What should I send for your valentine?
Summer and flowers are far away; Gloom and winter is king today.
Buds will not bloom, and sun will not shine. What should I do for a valentine?
I pray, St. Valentine, tell me here. Why do you come this time of year?
Plenty of days when lilies are white. Plenty of days when sunbeams are bright.
But now, when everythings dark and drear Why do you come, St. Valentine dear?
Ive searched the gardens all through and through,
For a bud to tell of my love so true.
But buds were asleep and blossoms were dead. And the falling snow came down on my head.
So, little, loveliest lady mine, Here is my heart for your valentine .</i>
At this time, dear readers, let me say to each and every one of you : Ich liebe dich (German), Se Agapo (Greek). Ich liebdier (Yiddish), Tu amore (Italian), Je t'aime (French), Te amo (Spanish), Ik houn van joun (Dutch), and Seni sevi yorum (Turkish), which simply means, I Love You.
Gloria and I wish every one of you a happy Valentines Day of love! AMORE!
Reach Alex Berger by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2001 Community Newspaper Group
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