By Corinne Wnek
It’s easy to forget that February can be one of the coldest months of the year. It’s like winter’s last hurrah before the retreat is sounded. But then along comes Valentine’s Day with the kind of warmth that only a box of fine quality chocolates and a dozen or so of deep red roses could bring.
And it’s hard not to notice the assortment of winged creatures depicted as flying around pointing their bows and arrows directly at the hearts of their next loveless victim. On Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s arrow is as potent to the non-lover as kryptonite is to Superman. This is the romantic equivalent to staring into Dracula’s eyes and being powerless to change the course of events that are about to unfold. Ahh, love.
Ever wonder how it all got started? There are lots of theories about the origin of Valentine’s Day. A popular belief is that this day was actually named after three different early Christian martyrs, all named Valentine. In 500 A.D., the reigning Pope designated February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day but this day had no romantic associations.
But when courtly love was in full bloom in the later Middle Ages, St. Valentine’s Day began to be depicted by poets and writers as a day when lovers would openly profess their undying love for one another.
Here’s betting you don’t know who Esther Howland is. She is credited with being the first person in the United States to invent and send to her loved ones, beautifully decorated cards for Valentine’s Day. She got the idea as a young girl working quietly in the back room of her father’s stationary store back around 1847. Esther experimented with paper hearts and decorated them with dried flowers, lace and satin and little notes of affection to those she loved. So now I owe Hallmark an apology for thinking they were the first to commercialize love when it was Esther Howland all the time.
Nowhere is the power of love so differently expressed as in song. Like Paul McCartney asked about his writing more silly love songs, “What’s wrong with that?” Well, here’s an eclectic compilation of the creative expression of love that is, eh, well, music to the ears. How many of these song titles, among the nearly four thousand out there about love, do you recognize?
“Think About Love”, “This Can’t Be Love”, “This Could Be Love”, “This Alone Is Love”, “This Guy’s In Love With You”, “This Girl’s In Love With You”, “To All The Girl’s I’ve Loved Before”, “Thug Love”, “To Know Him Is To Love Him”, “To Know Her Is To Love Her”, “To Sir With Love”, “Today Your Love, Tomorrow, The World”, “Too Fast For Love”, “Too Late For Love”, “Tons Of Love”, “Too Much Love”, “To Love You More”, “Tonight My Love, Tonight”, “ Please Don’t Fall In Love”, “Help Me, I’m Falling In Love”, “Love Potion # 9” and “P.S I Love You”.
As for me, I’ll never refuse chocolates or roses on Valentine’s Day. In truth, I’d be just as happy with a “don’t cook” order given at some point this weekend and a nice glass of a quality pinot noir waiting for me after my bath. And it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a “you know, you look as good now as you did when we first met”, either. Maybe the Beatles got it right when they said, “All You Need Is Love.”
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