Valentines Day should be for whomever you love
By Joe Olvera ©, 2010
One long-time married couple still believes in the magic of love and romance, even though they’ve been married for 16 years and has two children, ages 15 and 9. Another married couple has only been married four years, and, already, the romance has gone out of their lives. And, with Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, both couples will have different ways to commemorate or celebrate the special event.
“We’re still somewhat romantic, but, not as in the days before we had our kids,” said Diane Garcia about her and her husband, Sammy. “Sammy is romantic. He’ll buy me a dozen roses or candy without it being a special holiday. Me? I’m not so inclined, not when I have to go to college, clean up after three kids and a husband. It’s all I can do as there’s not much time for romance.”
Originally, it started as Saint Valentine’s Day, and the special day celebrates love and affection between intimate companions. According to Wikileaks, Saint Valentine was an early-day martyr who was recognized by Pope Gelasius in 500AD. It’s meant as a day when lovers can express their love for each other with flowers, confections or greeting cards. The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages.
Courtly love, songs sung by balladeers, romantic hearts filled with chocolates, diamond earrings, or diamond anything – have helped to make Valentines Day a uniquely American holiday. Here, it’s not a question of will people celebrate, it’s more a question of how they will celebrate.
“For the past few years, we’ve been having romantic candlelight dinners all by ourselves, sans the kids,” said Arturo Talamantes, who lives in the frozen northern part of Texas near Amarillo. “Our kids are grown, so we don’t have to cater to them. It’s our night to be uniquely by ourselves, reminding each other that we still love one another and that we’ve had a really good life together.”
For Sonia, Arturo’s wife, Valentines Day is a special occasion, a time to dedicate themselves to each other and a time to reminisce about the many special days in each others’ lives. “We do everything for the kids on other holidays, like Christmas, Halloween, birthdays. But, this day is special for us, without the kids. They probably celebrate with their little friends by exchanging cards and the like. But, they know that this day belongs to us.”
To Diane Garcia, however, Valentines Day would be even more special if it was also celebrated with the children. “I think that it should be celebrated, we need to find the time and the energy. But, I think we should also include the kids. After all, we love them too, and they are a part of who we are. We need to show them that Valentines Day is not just for boyfriends and girlfriends, but, it’s for whoever you love.”