Monday, February 14, 2005

It's late and I must sleep so that I can wake and visit the Fallen Caryatid tomorrow to pray before class. But while it's still Valentine's Day I wanted to say a few quick words on the holiday.

I've never really understood why people think this holiday is about romance. I mean I do intellectually, but for me Valentine's has been one of two things. The first was about giving out cards to my classmates, which I never quite got at the time. But it ties into the second thing. As I was saying to Duchess, I think the point of a holiday is that it commemorates a social value. It's society's way of saying, "This is something we consider important." So what is it in this case? Romance? I don't think so, really. I think it's more generally about courtesy, and chivalry (and yes, I know that "chivalry" in the Natalian sense bears little to no resemblance to "chivalry" as a fifteenth century man-of-arms would have understood the term). Romance is a part of that, but romance is powered by chivalry and courtesy (teaching our kids these values is, I think, where the classroom Valentine cards come in).

At any rate that's what the day means to me: Valentine's Day is a declaration that it is a social value to learn chivalry and courtesy, and consequently romance. So let me take a moment to commemorate Thea, Princess, Blue Rose, my Sweatshirt Girl, and Esther Selene, without whom I would know very little about any of that. Happy Valentine's Day, dearest friends.

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