“Valentine’s Day: Before Our Loves are Lost”par Rohinton Ghandhi
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Article mis en ligne le 3 février 2009 à 9:34
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For many of us, we only see the “chocolate-covered” commercial side of it. Yet Valentine’s Day holds much more meaning to us than we think.
At one time our community held a solid commitment to this day, with everyone “prepared to celebrate”.
The February 1931 Verdun Guardian reported “Young Folks Look Forward to Valentine - Youth of the District Have All in Readiness for Tomorrow - Throughout the past week, boys could be observed looking into gayly-decorated shop windows with their attention centered on lace valentine cards tied up with fancy red ribbons. Girls would contemplate the various cards and wonder which one they would be fortunate enough to receive. Many plan various parties tomorrow”.
We had strict social rules back then, and Valentine’s Day was an opportunity to socialize with the “fairer” sex.
It was the time of year in which we were “allowed” to show our true feelings to someone and hope that our feelings were returned. Valentine cards once played an important courtship role, as the words within them were our flagships to “test the waters”, wading into the unknown territory of women. The words we chose would have to clearly describe our intent towards a young lady, not like the quick pickup lines, 2-minute dating, and instant matchmaking services of today. The words had more meaning then, as we used them to touch another’s heart.
We are very fortunate today, to be able to openly declare our feelings to each other at any time, without waiting for Valentine’s to arrive. Yet few of us rarely do. Perhaps we have forgotten the magic of romance and the rainbow of emotions that love brings. Or maybe, we consider ourselves too busy, or too old, to say those words to our special someone.
The words are basic. We learned them as children by creating our first handmade Valentines to openly show our love to our parents, and which are probably still hanging on our fridge doors, dog-eared and dusty.
In Elementary school, Valentine’s became more of a “trading-card” game, making sure that we traded with, and correctly spelled, each of our classmate’s names. Lacking the compassion these cards were meant to hold.
High School reintroduced us to the real “Valentine’s Day” experience, as we were now old enough to enter the “dating scene” within our own social circles. Like bees to a hive, we busily slipped Valentine cards into the lockers of our prospective sweethearts, hoping to receive one from them in return, which could mean anything from heartbreak to a “walk in the clouds”.
Today, it is very easy to recapture the warmth of Valentine’s by just looking at the people around you (or by calling those you know) and showing them that you truly care. They do not have to be sweethearts or family. They could be anyone who is important in your life.
As our passion for life only equals the compassion we share within it, Valentine Day’s reminds us all to say what needs to be said. Before all our loves…are lost.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the English Corner!
*Sources – The Verdun Guardian – February 1931 Issue