I kinda skipped Valentine’s Day this year. While I jump at any chance to let my husband know how much I love him, I can do that simply by breathing in and out. Our love isn’t valued by trinkets or displays of affection. It just is. Love.
Valentine’s Day wasn’t always associated with romanticism, or with marketing – that’s the doing of our modern commercialized world. The Feast of Saint Valentine was/is a Catholic celebration of martyrs. Valentine’s Day, as I know it, started innocently as a child decorating “Valentine mailboxes” made from cardboard shoeboxes and pasted with pink and red lacy hearts and frilly embellishments. I would individually sign miniature cards with sweet messages for classmates and stuff the envelopes with candy. As a child, it was easy to obsess about this. It was a second Halloween. A competition of the best decoration, handout, and who received and gave the best Valentine.
Later, it became a way to let others know you liked them, and LIKED THEM-liked them. This, combined with the general awkwardness of puberty, is where I began to learn from humility, regret, excitement, torment, jealousy and self-loathing. Growing up, Valentine’s Day was always a disappointment. A day of “Love” that my early snarky self decided was for suckers and masochists. Fortunately, my snarkiness only grew stronger through adulthood, saving me from further Valentine disappointment.
In as much, I present to you, the reader of this blog post, a Valentine as I see it: Wound Man. This medieval illustration depicts various wounds a person might suffer in battle or in accidents, with accompanying text stating treatments for the various injuries. Wound Man is my sweet, pain inflicted Valentine. A reminder to myself that forcing love never ends well.