1) In History

The first recorded association of Valentines Day with romantic love is in “Parlement of Foules” (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer:

“For this was on seynt Volantynys day

  Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese [choose] his make [mate].”

This poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard ll of England to Anne of Bohemia.  There were married eight months later.  He was 13 and she was 14.

2) Frank Sinatra – Funny Valentine

3) Redneck Valentine:

“Yore hair is like cornsilk,

A-flapping in the breeze,

Softer than Blue’s,

And without all them fleas.”

4) In Japan the Valentines Day tradition is for women to give men gifts.  One man is trying to change that.  From the New York Times:

“Dozens of men stood side by side in a cabbage patch in Tsumagoi, 90 miles northwest of the capital.”  “Participants on that balmy day last fall went down the row yelling, ‘I love you.’  Trying earnestly to say the words to their wives – some for the first time.  Their spouses stood in the field, watching.  Some were in tears.”

These couples were participating in an event by Kiyota Yamana, founder of the Japan Aisaika (Devoted Husband) Organization.  His goal is to help Japan’s troubled approach to marriage – often regarded more as a status than a relationship – by teaching men to appreciate their wives and express their feelings.

In Japan, expressing love and appreciation is uncommon, especially among men.  Even Valentine’s Day is a time for women to give men gifts.  In the majority of marriages, husbands are the breadwinners; wives the homemakers.  But that doesn’t sit well in a rapidly changing Japan:  The number of divorces rose 73% from 1985 to 2002.  Though the number has slowly decreased since then, in-home seperations remain common in a country that has few marriage counselors.

“If I said to my wife, ‘I love you,’ she would think me crazy, ‘ says Hiroto, who has been married for 20 years.”

5)  Most of the time I will admit I haven’t been too creative with my Valentines gifts.  I have usually given my girlfriends the old standby, roses, and one time a pearl earings, just before she dumped me.  😦  I would enjoy hearing about anyone’s Valentine Day moments, past or present.