“L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore can
*Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please don’t break it
Love was made for you and me” L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole
For those who struggle with holidays, Christmas and New Year’s can be difficult. Christmas may ring hollow, whether you eschew Christianity or capitalism. New Year’s may be an excuse to hibernate, medicate, or catch a plane to the other side of the world. In any case, when we hear of holiday blues, most refer to the end of the year festivities.
My holiday doldrums center around another holiday, that Hallmark extravanganza and money maker for many restaurants, candy stores and chocolate confectioners, Valentine’s Day. Named after a mystery saint who was either a bishop or a martyr stoned to death(this sounds about right), we can blame the Catholic Church for the hoopla surrounding February 14th. Apparently, this date marked the pagan celebration of orgies in honor of Juno. The Church dutifully threatened participants in such pagan revelry with death. Still, the association of this day with romantic love endured as did an ancient Roman lottery where you could draw the names of future lovers. Mix up centuries-old partying with good old American commercialism and we have the dreaded lover’s holiday. You can’t walk into a Walgreen’s without red and pink teddy bears and heart-shaped boxes torturing those of us without a Valentine.
Perhaps it was different when I had a significant other. I was sent flowers and the requisite heart-shaped jewelry box. The box has since been sent to Goodwill and the dried roses went out with the garbage during the initial post break-up Gotterdammerung. (see 8/5/05 blog to hear more about this opera term) Still, even when I was attached, I couldn’t help but feel that this holiday was more about spending money than it was romantic.
While I may cry my eyes out when I hear “People will say we’re in love” from Oklahoma! or Acts 1 and 2 of La Boheme in the safety of my home, I will continue to shiver at the thought of Black Tuesday. I suppose that makes me a love Grinch at least until I find a reason to do otherwise.