Shaken, Not Stirred: Beware the Ides of February

February 12, 2017

bond_heartShaken, Not Stirred: Beware the Ides of February


A blog by Jim Bond

The Ides of March took care of Julius Caesar, but every man has done in by what we can refer to as the Ides of February, Valentine’s Day.

We have planned, designed, schemed, set our wits to come up with the perfect token of our love. When was the last time you made your presentation, feeling the exuberance of Odie in the ‘Garfield’ comic strip, waiting for the reaction…waiting…waiting…to get the following:

‘What! Are you CRAZY!? Do you know how many CALORIES there are in these?”

A look at the history of Valentine’s Day shows that there has always been martyrdom connected with the event.

There were two saints Valentine. One was a Roman priest and a physician who had the misfortune of being a Christian during the time of Claudius II. Val and Claud apparently got along as well as Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield’s ear. Without giving away specifics of history, let’s just refer to Claudius as Iron Mike. The other Valentine was a bishop in Terni, Italy. He too, was martyred for the cause.

Now, these two really have no history of any amorous activity, and thus, have nothing to do with Valentine’s Day as we know it. The current celebration of Valentine’s Day finds its roots in the 16th century Roman fertility festival of the Lupercalia. Or, with the mating season of birds. Now we’re talking.

It was with Valentine’s Day of 400 years ago that we saw the first greeting card ever, invented by Rodolfo Valentino Crownio Di Hallmark, whose descendants live in the Kansas City area. Like the original, they are all very chic.

No doubt, the martyrdom of modern man’s Valentine’s offerings began when the second recipient of a Valentine greeting card turned it over and not seeing the Hallmark crown, simply uttered:


This was also the beginning of the emphasis on ‘self-esteem’, since the giver obviously suffered from a lack of it. He decided next on poetry:

Roses are red,

  And violets are blue,

Sugar is sweet,

  And so are you.

Since his first attempt, the greeting card, didn’t work too well, he decided not to put his name on the poem, so you’ll always see this poem ascribed to Anonymous.

Then he decided the reference to sweetness and sugar was a good thing. On the second Valentine’s Day, he presented the box of candy. We saw that result.

On the third Valentine’s Day in the 16th century, he noted the opening of the poem and saw his mention of flowers.

“That’s it!” He said to himself.

Off he went to pick flowers. He trod far and wide, selecting just the right bud, anticipating when the blush would be on the bloom. Then he chose just the right lace to go with it, wrapped it carefully and presented it to the object of his affection. He felt the exuberance of Odie in the ‘Garfield’ comic strip, waiting for the reaction, waiting…waiting…holding his breath as he watched a tear from in the corner of her eye, only to get the following:

“What! Are you CRAZY!? Don’t you know I’m ALLERGIC to these?”

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

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