near the edge

In light of all the holiday fluff that's been circulating around campus, I felt it was necessary to provide a column based on fact about the original intent of Valentine's Day. After consulting a few encyclopedias, it was clear to me that the first Valentine's day had nothing to do with loving your friends, family or surprise fish.

Since the fourteenth century we've bastardized the true meaning of the day. We've been sold on the idea, brought to you by Hallmark, that we're supposed to dress up in red, send tokens of love and generally delight in our romantic forays. Yawn.

If you've been spending Valentine's Day participating in these activities, you've been sadly misled. To atone for your beliefs, you must do what St. Valentine did in the third century. Suffer.

St. Valentine was actually the name for a Christian bishop and a priest who were martyred in Rome around Feb. 14, 270 A.D. Execution could have pretty nasty effects on your love life. Martyrs could be crucified, cut up and eaten, drawn and quartered or merely perish in a chocolate-induced frenzy.

Still, the daring Valentine duo overcame their minor little setback. Their martyrdom gained them a place in medieval Europe when the peasants needed a little pick-me-up from their Dark Age squalor. Personally, I think some punchy nobleman cooked up the idea of resurrecting the Valentines over coffee to quell a plebeian rebellion. You'd be surprised how far a few candied hearts will go.

I don't think the Valentines would have a chance today either. Their type of idealistic vigilance would be quashed amid a barrage of cynicism, relativism and sexism.

To loosely quote Ferris Bueller, "Personally, I don't believe in socialism, or any ism for that matter. A person should not believe in isms, he should believe in himself."

Old fashioned romance in the modern world is about as idealistic as you can get. Some people wholeheartedly cling to the idea that a man and woman can meet, fall in love and live happily ever after. Despite these peoples' desire to be pushed from a third story window, they persist in mid

believing that romance is alive and well, somewhere.

For me that place is on Mars.

However, unbeknownst to them, they are the only people truly celebrating the day even close to its original intent. By drowning in a pool of misery, they are reliving the type of anguish experienced by the Valentines. It's a type of pain that's oddly comforting, knowing that you cling to some unrealistic ideal because it is right. By rejecting the popular version of Valentine's Day, with its sacchariney-sweet sentiment and pressure to spend $80 on "the best damn bouquet money can buy," they remain true to their beliefs.

Valentine's Day for the listless romantic is miserable. Even the attached romantic should feel a pang of regret at the type of treatment love gets in the Walgreen's card aisle. If you're suffering this Valentine's Day, at least feel justified that it's for a good cause. Because what's more idealistic than true love?

Have the happiest Valentine's Day possible, under the circumstances.

And to the three men in my life my best friend, body guard and boss: suffer.

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