Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
I’ve got a secret,
Betcha do too.
With the possible exception
of secrets and the cult of self-esteem, Valentine’s Day is the greatest threat
to romantic love ever invented. Secrets are the very antitheses of love.
Secrets breed suspicion and suspicion breeds mistrust. Love and mistrust go
together like matches and gasoline, often with the same explosive consequences.
The cult of self-esteem is,
by definition, all about me. Or you, from your self-centred point of view. Love
is about the ‘other’. Anyone who says you can’t truly love another unless you
love yourself is peddling illusion. Illusion is to love what last call is to
desperation, a prescription for making really, really bad choices.
But Valentine’s Day? The
marketers might as well relaunch it as International Performance Anxiety Day
for that is what it’s become. Every man who can peer into his heart of hearts
without having his vision filtered through a gauze of self-delusion — and many
a woman to boot — longs today for both inspiration and a fast-forward button, a
painless segue to Friday and beyond, a safe trip through the minefield of love.
But the inevitable remains
inevitable and forever February will remain the cruelest month, notwithstanding
April’s claim to that honour. Love Hurts. Never more so than on February 13
as the hours count down
and you walk the streets — or pedestrian villages if you’re so lucky — of your
town, a growing cloud of disillusion building into thunderheads over your
chowderhead as you rack what’s left of your brain for a storm of a different
What to do about Valentine’s
Roses are red,
And ever so handy,
Diamonds are bloody,
But less fattening than
Sometimes, when searching for
a solution, it’s important to look backwards and remember what brought us to
this Age of Insanity.
When Latin, not Italian, was
the language of Rome, there was no Valentine’s Day, just a guy named Valentine.
For centuries, Romans celebrated and feasted Lupercus, the god of nature. Not a
major deity, Lupercus was your basically fun-loving, lower-case god and his
celebration was yet another celebration of fertility, an ancient Roman word for