Happy Valley Daze!
As for the title--it's my twisted and demented version of that most contemptible of observances, Valentine's Day. Yes, I know today is February 13--here in the U.S. of A. But there's a great big old world out there beyond these North American shores, in case you didn't know. Geography of the world is still part of the elementary school curriculum, last I checked. Yet many Americans are seem woefully unaware of the fact that there are other countries on this planet besides the United States. Well, guess what? I've traveled to some of those places, courtesy of the United States Air Force, and I can swear without hesitation that they exist.
Not only that, I have readers from places like Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, where it is already February 14, the aforementioned contemptible observance. So there. I'm not wrong. Somewhere on this planet, someone is spending a ridiculous amount of money on roses and chocolates, both of which will not last very long. Especially around me. I'm a plant killer, and roses wilt within minutes after I get them. This probably happens because I know the truth behind the gift--guilt. Just ask my ex-husband. And the chocolates? No. They're crack for me. I leave the human race after the first bite.
Since I know that Valentine's Day is supposedly in honor of some dead guy named Valentine, I decided to check with Wikipedia about this. This is what it says:
"Saint Valentine (in Latin, Valentinus) is the name of several martyred saints of ancient Rome. Of the Saint Valentine whose feast is on February 14, nothing is known except his name and that he was buried at the Via Flaminia north of Rome on February 14. It is even uncertain whether the feast of that day celebrates only one saint or two or more saints of the same name. For this reason this liturgical commemoration was not kept in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints for universal liturgical veneration as revised in 1969. Traditional Roman Catholics continue to venerate St. Valentine on his feast day, February 14."
How fitting that the true origin of St. Valentine is uncertain at best. What does "romantic love" bring to those who indulge? Confusion. Disorientation. Temporary, and sometimes permanent insanity. But wait, there's more!
"English eighteenth-century antiquarian Alban Butler and Francis Douce, noting the obscurity of Saint Valentine's identity, suggested Valentine's Day was created as an attempt to supersede the pagan holiday of Lupercalia. This idea has lately been contested by Professor Jack Oruch of the University of Kansas. Many of the current legends that characterise Saint Valentine were invented in the fourteenth century in England, notably by Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle, when the feast day of February 14 first became associated with romantic love."
Oh, so it's Chaucer's fault that we have to put up with this nonsense about Eros/Cupid bringing together folks who have no business being near each other! Who else would inspire such craziness but the author of these lines:
"1: Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
2: The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
3: And bathed every veyne in swich licour
4: Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
5: Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
6: Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
7: Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
8: Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne,
9: And smale foweles maken melodye,
10: That slepen al the nyght with open ye
11: (so priketh hem nature in hir corages);"
And no, I'm not going to translate. You'll just have to learn to read Middle English like I did when I was an English major at California State University at Sacramento. It's good gray matter exercise. Don't get me wrong;I like Geoffrey Chaucer and his "Canterbury Tales". Well, not all of them. "The Wife of Bath", "The Miller" and "The Reeves" tales are the best. (Those of you who have read Chaucer can pretty much figure out why I say this.)
And about Eros/Cupid, that chubby little kid who shoots arrows made of "love" that causes people so much pain and agony? Why should we celebrate this when people lose their minds over what that little brat does to them? Check out what the great metaphysical poet, John Donne, has to say about Eros/Cupid:
"May barren angels love so! But if we
Make love to woman, virtue is not she,
As beauty's not, nor wealth. He that strays thus
From her to hers is more adulterous
Than if he took her maid. Search every sphere
And firmament, our Cupid is not there;
He's an infernal god, and under ground
With Pluto dwells, where gold and fire abound:
Men to such gods their sacrificing coals"
From John Donne's: "Elegy XVIII: Love's Progress"
John Donne was a chauvinist pig, according to some feminist literary critics. Of course he was; he was born in 1572! What do you expect from a man born into the middle of Anglican/Roman Catholic/Puritan quest for control of every aspect of daily life in England? Did you think he would have modern "metro-sexual" attitudes? Please. But that's not the point. Does he portray Cupid as a cute little cherub pleasantly spreading love and happiness everywhere he goes? No, John Donne's Cupid kicks it down in Hades with Pluto, god of the underworld! (Read between the lines--love is hell.) Why are we so caught up with venerating the little brat? He needs a spanking!
So back to the title--Happy Valley Daze. Valentine's Day, in my opinion, is nothing more than a day when dazed and heartbroken souls get to wander around in the valley of unrequited love in search of who knows what. And if you don't believe me, I double dog DARE you to take the following quiz to see if you are one of the dazed ones. Don't come crying to me if you score real high and qualify for therapy. You agreed to take that brat's arrow through the chest, remember? LOL! I told you my Gemini moon is acting up!
Love Addicts Anonymous (http://loveaddicts.org)
To Help You Determine
If You Are a Love Addict
If you can answer yes to more than a few of the following questions, you are probably a love addict. Remember that love addiction comes in many forms, so even if you don’t answer yes to all of the questions you may still be a love addict.
1.You are very needy when it comes to relationships.
2. You fall in love very easily and too quickly.
3. When you fall in love, you can’t stop fantasizing—even to do important things. You can’t help yourself.
4. Sometimes, when you are lonely and looking for companionship, you lower your standards and settle for less than you want or deserve.
5. When you are in a relationship, you tend to smother your partner.
6. More than once, you have gotten involved with someone who is unable to commit—hoping he or she will change.
7. Once you have bonded with someone, you can’t let go.
8. When you are attracted to someone, you will ignore all the warning signs that this person is not good for you.
9. Initial attraction is more important to you than anything else when it comes to falling in love and choosing a partner. Falling in love over time does not appeal to you and is not an option.
10. When you are in love, you trust people who are not trustworthy. The rest of the time you have a hard time trusting people.
11. When a relationship ends, you feel your life is over and more than once you have thought about suicide because of a failed relationship.
12. You take on more than your share of responsibility for the survival of a relationship.
13. Love and relationships are the only things that interest you.
14. In some of your relationships you were the only one in love.
15. You are overwhelmed with loneliness when you are not in love or in a relationship.
16. You cannot stand being alone. You do not enjoy your own company.
17. More than once, you have gotten involved with the wrong person to avoid being lonely.
18. You are terrified of never finding someone to love.
19. You feel inadequate if you are not in a relationship.
20. You cannot say no when you are in love or if your partner threatens to leave you.
21. You try very hard to be who your partner wants you to be. You will do anything to please him or her—even abandon yourself (sacrifice what you want, need and value).
22. When you are in love, you only see what you want to see. You distort reality to quell anxiety and feed your fantasies.
23. You have a high tolerance for suffering in relationships. You are willing to suffer neglect, depression, loneliness, dishonesty—even abuse—to avoid the pain of separation anxiety (what you feel when you are not with someone you have bonded with).
24. More than once, you have carried a torch for someone and it was agonizing.
25. You love romance. You have had more than one romantic interest at a time even when it involved dishonesty.
26. You have stayed with an abusive person.
27. Fantasies about someone you love, even if he or she is unavailable, are more important to you than meeting someone who is available.
28. You are terrified of being abandoned. Even the slightest rejection feels like abandonment and it makes you feel horrible.
29. You chase after people who have rejected you and try desperately to change their minds.
30. When you are in love, you are overly possessive and jealous.
31. More than once, you have neglected family or friends because of your relationship.
32. You have no impulse control when you are in love.
33. You feel an overwhelming need to check up on someone you are in love with.
34. More than once, you have spied on someone you are in love with.
35. You pursue someone you are in love with even if he or she is with another person.
36. If you are part of a love triangle (three people), you believe all is fair in love and war. You do not walk away.
37. Love is the most important thing in the world to you.
38. Even if you are not in a relationship, you still fantasize about love all the time— either someone you once loved or the perfect person who is going to come into your life someday.
39. As far back as you can remember, you have been preoccupied with love and romantic fantasies.
40.You feel powerless when you fall in love—as if you are in some kind of trance or under a spell. You lose your ability to make wise choices.