Hearts. They keep the blood pumping and, as the Greek once thought, they keep love alive. Well, over time the shape of the heart resembling our own certainly became a symbol of love. But, the heart can not love. Love comes from the brain. So why doesn’t the shape of the brain show up on Valentine’s cards? A thought to ponder.
Obviously, the brain sends out signals to other parts of our body to react to feelings of attraction and emotion. It says, “Wake up! Something new is afoot!” (I am taking liberties with what the brain actually thinks). Maybe if we concentrated on the brain first and the heart second, we would have less break ups and sad endings. But again, who wants little brain cards in their Valentine’s box?
Here is something to put into that brain that picks up romantic activity this time of the year. According to USA News, over $19 billion will be spent on Valentine’s Day this year. Those between 35 and 44 are will more than likely celebrate the day, while less than half of the people at least 65 will commemorate the occasion. Now we know who is spending the most money. The average person will shell out around $142. Guys on average spend around $190 on loved ones while women spend $96. I personally have never received anything remotely close to $190 worth of goodies and laugh at the thought of spending over half the average woman will spend. Call me cheap. Or, call me a woman that thinks you should not put a price on love. Again, using that brain.
I liked Valentine’s Day best when I was young. The shoe box was decorated with hearts. A slit was cut in the lid. One by one the Valentines were dropped into the box. (I always dug deep to find the one from Dickie Neff first). One Valentine’s Day I remember most was back in 1965 when my then boyfriend wrote on the back of each card in a kid’s valentine card pack, then hid them for me to find. No flowers. No candy. A little imagination and adventure.
At the end of this holiday, we who work in the card industry will take all of our left over stock (as we do each holiday), negate it out for store credit then toss it into the trash. Thousands of dollars going into landfills. The cards cannot be donated nor can they leave the store before they are destroyed. Card companies are not the only ones to follow this procedure. Again, a dollar sign. Seems that the brain could work better on this one.
I would like to say that we should go back to the roots of Valentine’s Day, but in my research, I find that might not be such a grand idea. According to the first story, the Romans invented the day in the 3rd century AD. the pastoral holiday honoring the god Lupercus. Shepherds would take flocks to the pasture on the outskirts of Rome where pack of wolves would surround them in wait for stray sheep to prey on. They believed the Lupercus would protect them. I found no statistics on how well the wolves dined. While this was going on, girls in Rome put their names in a box and boys drew to find their new girlfriends. They would be a couple for a whole year. Juno was the goddess over this event. Definitely a cheaper way to find a girlfriend.
All in all, I guess it is up to us how we wish to show our love….or protect our sheep….or find a mate. It all comes down to that brain in our heads telling us to love. The God over my event says to love one another. That doesn’t cost a dime.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.