It is interesting to me how our perception or expectations of Valentine's Day change.
The actual St. Valentine was a catholic priest who was beaten then beheaded on February 14, 270 A.D. His "crime" was refusing to renounce his faith. He was known for assisting Christians who were being persecuted and illegally marrying Christian couples. In 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius established Feb. 14, as a day of celebration in honor of his martyrdom.
At that time, it was a custom of the non-Christian Romans, on Feb. 15, to draw from a list the names of girls for lewd purposes. In an effort to displace this custom, on Feb. 14, in honor of St. Valentine, the Church began the practice of having people draw from a pile of cards with the lives of the saints on them.
Do you remember Valentine's Day in grammar school? Most importantly, it was a day for getting candy and other treats. For some reason, it was also important to find someone who would agree to "be your valentine." In later years, you may have even pined away for a particular someone to be your valentine.
When I was a college student in the 1980s, it was quite fashionable for previously un-noticed campus groups to publicly caution everyone about the risks of venereal disease on this day. They weren't preaching the virtues of abstinence. Rather, they showered passers by with prophylactics they way "doubloons" rain down in a Marti Gras parade.
The 1970s gave us the "Jesus Freaks." By the 1980s they had evolved into a group in competition with the prophylactic crowd for the hearts and minds of the students. Since Cupid was a nymph in Roman mythology, the holiday was evil and those who celebrated the day would surely go to Hell.
As a newly married couple, my wife and I would go to extraordinary lengths to make the holiday a relaxing, romantic, and pleasurable occasion.
We have been married for more than 10 years now. These days, I'm happy if everyone is in a good mood and no one if feeling ill.
Having listened to other people in long-term successful relationships, I believe that I have discovered the perfect way for men to give their women a perfect Valentine's Day.
First, make sure all children are properly disposed of. Then, before your wife or long term live-in gets home from work, tape a love note or card to the door. Have all of the lights in the home out with candles lighting the way to the bedroom. Have scented candles burning in the bedroom and rose petals strewn about the room and on the crisply made bed. Make sure the door to the master bath is open with romantic light shining there from to catch her attention and draw her in. You should have a hot bubble bath drawn and waiting with her favorite music easily within reach from the bath.
Finally, before she gets home, make sure that you and your buddies meet up at your favorite watering hole to spend the evening watching sports.