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Valentine's Day Massacre

The Clarion Call
Commentary by Corrin Strong
Clarion Publisher

02/15/2001 Clarion News Service.

Yesterday (actually tomorrow as I write this) was the annual St. Valentines Day Massacre. That holidayıs name has a double meaning. Either you can massacre your bank account and your credit rating by buying your sweetie an outrageously expensive and totally impractical bauble, or you can be massacred by the little lady for failing to do so.

You make your choice and you take your chances, but either way itıs a dark day for men. How did we let ourselves get boxed into this corner?

According to legend it all started on February 14, 269 A.D. when a priest by the name of Valentine was put to death by the Roman Emperor Claudius II, otherwise known as Claudius the Cruel. What was his crime?

Apparently Claudius was disappointed by his inability to raise a large army to expand the empire. He thought that too many young men were too enamored of their wives and sweethearts to leave home for a life of hardship on the frontlines. Therefore he decreed that no more marriages could take place and ordered all engagements broken.

Valentine had the audacity to ignore this order and continued to marry couples in secret. For his crime, Valentine was arrested and thrown into jail under a sentence of death.

It is said that while there, he fell in love with the beautiful daughter of the jailer. On the day of his execution he slipped her a note professing his love ³from your valentine.² The rest as they say is history.

For many years, Valentineıs Day cost nothing more than the price of a card and maybe some postage. Gradually with that great commercial boosterism for which America is so famous, the holiday morphed into an orgy of spending in which the man is required to prove his eternal love by spending his way into bankruptcy.

The fact that the holiday falls in the middle of what is generally the worst retail month of the year has been a large part of its downfall. Desperate merchants have hit on the idea of playing heavily to female greed and male guilt to achieve a brief bounce in business.

Is nothing sacred? Is it not good enough that a man spends every waking thought and action in devotion to his mate? That he works himself to an early grave trying to provide for her every need?

Please ladies have a little mercy! If your honey does not come home with something made of gold, diamonds or other precious metals, cut him some slack. It doesnıt mean he doesnıt love you.

It might mean that he has been working so hard that he just didnıt have time to shop. Or perhaps heıs saving up to buy you an even nicer present for your birthday or Christmas.

Quick, somebody look, are the women buying this? No, I didnıt think so. Well I guess I better get online and order up some roses. See you next week guys, if you survive.


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