Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Valentine’s Day conspiracy

A though on Valentine's Day by the fabulous author, Maria Grazia Swan...

Ever wonder what romance was like before lovers world wide became enslaved to the Valentine’s Day rituals?

Wonder no more, I’m here to share my knowledge of the subject.
I grew up in Italy, since I’m Italian that’s not a big surprise. I had my first crush, my first kiss and all that jazz just like any regular girl, here or there. The only thing I knew about Valentine’s Day was what I learned in catechism class, from the catholic nuns, and you can believe me when I tell you it had nothing to do with romance and lovers.

If you Google St Valentine, you’ll get all kind of stories of martyrdom relating back to the third century and Romans emperors.

Third century, my friends, makes Valentine older than Hugh Hefner!

The first time I heard St Valentine’s name linked with romance/love/lust, you pick it, either one works for me, was when I was dating a Count. I hate to associate the word ‘date’ with the Count as it was more or less a sexual thing that didn’t last long. By the way, being a Count is not a big deal where I come from, unless you are one of the few Counts with a title and money. This one had both and the villa he owned in town was a second home. A second home with servants and that’s where it always got messy. When you live in a small town where most everybody knows someone who knows your parents, you like to keep your private life very private. So while we were ‘dating’ the hired help got many nights off. One evening he handed me a cute little box that looked like it came from a jeweler. At first I panicked. What if it was an engagement ring? Fortunately, it contained a necklace made of red grenadine stones.

He looked at me with great expectation. I’m assuming at some point he figured out that all his good intentions and cleverness about the hard to find grenadine stones and the symbolism of the color red was wasted on me. It was then I learned about Valentine’s Day and the so-called connection with lovers. I also had to listen about his effort to find this necklace made of natural red stones. Don’t know where I lost the necklace or whatever happened to the Count. His villa sold years ago, by then I had left Italy and moved to the States where every February I see red hearts and people in or out of love who feel compelled to exchange Valentines. Why do I think it is a conspiracy? Hellooo! They brainwash little innocent kids. Tiny tots who can’t read or write force their parents into buying boxes with dozens of paper hearts derived from dead trees. A card for every classmate, regardless of race, sex or religion, this is an equal opportunity conspiracy. By the time they are out of school and working in an office cubicle, they are so indoctrinated into the custom that if they don’t have a legit Valentine, they send themselves flowers or candy just to save face. I know, I’ve done it myself. And who benefits from all this? It’s not called the Hallmark conspiracy for nothing. Okay, I found that on Google. But along with cards we have florists, jewelers, the works. My suggestion is this: let’s accept gifts from lovers EVERY day of the year EXCEPT on Valentine’s Day. Think about it, 364 days of giving and receiving, then on Valentine’s Day, we sit home and count our loot.

~Maria Grazia Swan

Maria Grazia Swan is an author and motivational speaker who shares
relationship advice and guidance for women re-entering the social/dating
scene. Maria empowers and encourages single women to be bold, fearless, and
sexy in their pursuit of life and love after age 45. An award recipient from
the Women’s National Book Association, Swan is the author of Boomer Babes:
True Tales of Love and Lust in the Later Years (Leisure Books). Visit


♥ Sallie said...


Happy Valentine's Day!

LuAnn said...

Great idea! But I'm not sure it would fly. It's always fun to visit the local department/box stores on Valentine's Day and watch all the men who forgot to get their wives something. Now, they are in a panic and, of course, all the good stuff has been picked over. It's really hilarious!

Anonymous said...

[... ] is other relavant source of information on this subject[...]

Maria Grazia Swan said...

Yes LuAnn, I watched the forgetful men lined up waiting for the flower shop to open. I was on my way to yoga!