Hello, I'm Doctor Stupid! I'm going to take out your liver bones!

Today is a very special day. It's the day I get to go home after work, put on my sweats, and eat cookie dough out of a tube while I cry my eyes out over being alone.

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No, that's not true. First, I don't cry, and second, I like being alone. But, the cookie dough is delicious.

Today is Valentines Day. Remember being in elementary school, and you made valentine boxes out of old shoe boxes and construction paper? And teacher made you give valentines to everyone? Even the icky girls? And, you always had that one kid who would put one of those candy hearts in each envelope?

I hated valentines day. Even as a kid, I knew it was stupid to force people to exchange meaningless cards with shitty puns. You either like someone, or you don't. The ones you didn't like got a card made by Calvin. (You know exactly what I'm talking about...)

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But, why do we do it? Why do we give the ones we love a cheesy card and stale chocolates and wilting flowers on the fourteenth day of February?

Well, it's the day christians, (and I'm using the ancient Roman definition of christian. Today, we would say catholic), celebrate St. Valentine. (oh crap....two saint posts in one month? Otter is definitely burning in hell, now...)

Valentinus, as he was known in Rome, was martyred sometime around 496 C.E. He really irked the Romans. What was his crime? Well, being christian, mostly. But the straw that broke the camels back was, he was giving comfort and shelter to persecuted christians.

That was a big no-no in Rome back then. So, he was thrown in prison. That would have been the end of it, except, he didn't stop. He kept giving what comfort he could to other christian prisoners. So, they killed him, on February 14th.

At least, that's the usual story. The truth is, Valentines Day actually celebrates two martyrs named Valentine. The one whom I just told you about, and one who was martyred about 300 years earlier. This other Valentine was killed for also being a christian.

For a long time, the Feast of Saint Valentine was celebrated as a feast day by the church. It was also a communal day. (a day when communion was given at mass).

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So, why is Valentines Day associated with love? According to legend, Valentine, (the later one), used to preform marriage ceremonies for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. So, Valentine was associated with love.

Another theory is that the christian church appropriated the Roman festival of Lupercalia which was celebrated February 13-15, and was the traditional festival of fertility. However, there is no actual evidence linking the two.

In fact, it wasn't until the poet Chaucer wrote 'Parlement of Foules', in 1382, that Valentines Day was associated with love.

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This type of origin is typical of holidays we celebrate. but, why cards, flowers and chocolates? Well, in 1797, a newspaper in London printed a series of poetic verses that young men could give to their ladies to show their affection. Printer took up the idea, and started mass producing the cards.

Flowers and chocolates weren't typically given with cards until the mid 19th century. But it didn't become common until the mid 20th century that men were expected to give flowers and chocolates with the cards.

And, it wasn't until the 1980 that jewelers in the US started promoting diamonds as the ultimate gift for Valentines Day.

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So, just like every other holiday out there, the Americans ruined it by commercializing Valentines Day. Except, we didn't.The British were the ones who first commercialized Valentines Day. Even today, England spends more per capita on Valentines Day.

So, have fun celebrating your love on the anniversary of Valentine being martyred. I always recommend remembering death with love.

*Authors Note*

I'm not a fan of Valentines Day, but it's not why you think. Sure, I'm lonely and bitter, but I'm like that every day. No, I dislike Valentines Day because, if you care for someone, you should express that every day, not on one special day. Valentines Day is nothing but an excuse for merchants to sell you shit you don't need, and most people don't want.

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