I’m going to get a bit personal today folks, because, well it’s Valentines Day, and I CAN.

Yesterday the boyfriend (M) and I were heading over to a friend’s house for a Sunday barbecue. While sitting in the passenger seat examining myself in the flip-down mirror, the ever familiar thought that 99% of women frequently have (damn you Giseles) popped into my head: Ugh.

And of course, being a woman I often wonder if the thoughts I have about myself are all in my head, if the breakout I see under the makeup is actually visible, if the frizz on the back of my head is a hallucaintion.  This prompts me to ask M, “Do I look gross?”

– Now, let’s be honest, if a man has any semblance of a brain he will answer “Of course not!” quickly – but not too quickly, lest he appear false and lying. And this M did; he replied “No, you look good!” And then he paused and said, in a well-natured tone, “You complete me.”

He said it with a smile, almost in the way you might say something silly and exaggerated, like “you are the most spectacular quarterback in the world!” (me to him on that one), but there was something behind the laugh that made me think that there might be a grain of truth there.

And let me also say I had, not five minutes ago, declared that he “was the most annoying man on the planet.” But in this  moment in the car, I had the feeling that maybe it was true, not in the cloying-and-annoying-co-dependent-relationship way, but in an actual partnership sort of way. The I’ve-hitched-my-wagon-to-yours-because-I-want-to kind of way.

So maybe Valentine’s Day is an excuse for companies to sell massive amounts of candy, flowers, and the like, but before you dismiss the whole day, think that maybe, behind all that commercialism, there is genuine thought or emotion. That maybe when you’re buying candy for your significant other because society “forces you,” you choose their favorite kind.

And even if the thought ends up being from you to yourself, to quote Martha Stewart, “Its’ a good thing.”

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For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

~ Parliament of Foules, Chaucer

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On this ever-popular day of “love,” it’s nice to remember that there was a real person behind all the hearts and flowers: St. Valentine. 

My mom always told me that Valentine was arrested by the Romans, and sentenced to be thrown to the lions. While he was in jail, he wanted to get a message out to his people, but all he could get was a piece of something to write on, without anything to write with. So he cut his hand and let some of the blood fall onto the paper, which he folded in two, and when he unfolded the paper he revealed the shape of a heart, which was the first Valentine ever sent.

There are several versions of this infamous story, but who was St. Valentine, really?

According to history.com, one legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. (What a jerk, no?)

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured. (ek, I’m studying Latin now, but this makes the Romans look like…not nice people)

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl — who may have been his jailor’s daughter — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed ‘From your Valentine,’ an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It’s no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial — which probably occurred around 270 A.D — others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to ‘christianize’ celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

So, overall, there were likely three different possible St. Valentines, all matyrs, which, to some people, probably seems like a good match for the holiday. Then there’s the festival connection, to pairing birds and such (hence the Chaucer quote). But whether you have someone to hang out with today or not, and remember you can always hang out with yourself, I hope you enjoy this lovely, sunny day! (Plus, you can always use today as an excuse to eat excessive amounts of chocolate. Yum)

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P.S. even though Valentine’s day is one of the worst reviewed movies that I’ve seen in awhile (something like 15% on Rottentomatoes.com) is it wrong that I still kind of want to see it? If I like it though, what does that make me?….

 

. WordHearts1

WordPress, this one’s for you.

Meet my new laptop! (Ok so you can’t actually meet it but you must be able to hear the happiness in my typing, right?)

Ok, after all the crap-throwing that went on between Mac and Windows, I think I can finally form an opinion based on these certain factors;

  • Mac books are quite lovely in design – they’re slim and portable and make the owner look super-sheik. However, you have to be willing to put your money where your mouth is, because the super-silver macbook will run you over $2000! Ouch…
  • The cutest PCs are designed…to look like Macs.
  • As far as performance goes, it’s very hard to find an independent computer review site that gives Mac the top nod, or even a nod at all. While Mac runs very well and has less of a virus risk, wow will you pay for it. Literally.
  • Windows Vista – ok, so I heard all this horrible stuff about you, but so far it seems all talk. It looks great, runs very well, and has some super cool programs and features.

So, the bottom line, it seems, is all about the bottom line. Because not only can you get a fantastic PC that looks as fancy as a Mac for waaaay less, you get much more performance for your bang, and your buck.

Plus, while I was really into the white Mac case, I now feel that silver is the wave of the future, and who am I kidding, I’m messy.

In a happy twist of fate, while I ended up being alone on this Valentines Day due to a long-distance schedule, my laptop was delivered. And since the case is red, I consider it a Valentine (plus it’s a socially conscious red, project red to be exact). My computer loves me. Yay.

I would also like to add that I’m posting this blog without having to go into a browser, using Windows Live Writer. And it posts it for me. Which is awesome.

Now I’m going to get up and figure out the best way to spend Valentines Day that doesn’t involve the other half of my couple. The best way that doesn’t make me feel too pathetic. But thanks to on demand cable, I can rent a chick flick without suffering through the Blockbuster line and having to wonder about the guys who are buying onion rings and renting horror movies. Scary.