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I am a sucker for wine, chocolate and flowers - MessAge Media: Vivian Lamoore

I am a sucker for wine, chocolate and flowers

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Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 6:00 am

It is February – the month of love. If you are in a romantic relationship, Valentine’s Day can be a fun celebration of your love for one another. But if you are not involved with someone special, perhaps you would rather celebrate Galentine’s Day. That is the day Amy Poehler’s character in the sitcom ‘Parks and Recreation’ created to celebrate girlfriends. On that same note, we could also invent Falentine’s Day – the day of friendship.

Whether you believe in love on Valentines Day or not, it is still a $Multi-billion industry in America.

Some people believe Valentine’s Day is just a holiday invented by Hallmark to sell a lot of cards. While Hallmark did not actually invent the holiday, it certainly capitalized on the market of lovers in the world. You see, in the middle of the 18th century it was quite common for lovers, and friends for that matter, to exchange small tokens of affection (often small hand-made chocolates) and handwritten notes with expressions of love. By the 1900s advances in technology made mass produced greeting cards popular as a way to express affection with someone elses words. That is not always a bad thing. Expressing your emotions can be difficult, but if your thoughts have been elegantly expressed and printed by someone else, then why not send a pre-made card?

So it wasn’t Hallmark who invented Valentine’s Day. History.com explains that the ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. History.com further explained members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would sacrifice a goat for fertility, and a dog for purification. They would then cut the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and gently slap both women and crop fields with the goat hide. The women believed this would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the remainder of the festival with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

A historian at Colorado University called this “a pagan fertility ritual involving a brutal matchmaking lottery where the men were drunk and naked.”

The ancient Romans may also be responsible for naming the day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men – both named Valentine – on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.

But it may be a medieval English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, who should be credited with putting the “love” in Valentine’s Day. Also found on History.com it says he often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. He linked the tradition of courting with the feast of St. Valentine in a poem written around 1375 called “Parliament of Foules,” which refers to Feb. 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate.

Speaking of finding a mate, legends tell us that job belongs to cupid. He is allegedly the infant son of Venus, the goddess of love. Legend says being struck by his golden arrow will result in true love.

So combining all of the above, minus the sacrificial goats and dogs, finding true love can be legendary. And here we are, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. If you are still looking for the perfect token of your affection for your true sweetheart, beware of Valentine’s scams. The BBB warns of fake florists on the Internet. Mary Pat Sorvik, Owner of Sunshine Flower and Gifts in Onamia calls them “order gatherers.” So if you are planning on flowers for your Valentine, keep it real and keep it local.

Teal’s Market in Isle has flowers. Lots of flowers. The floral shop manager, Ginger Houle said they deliver to addresses in about a 15-mile radius of the store. Call (320) 676-3521 to order. Ginger said the most popular floral arrangement for the big day is the traditional dozen arranged roses in a vase or a basket of mixed flowers.

Mary Pat at Sunshine Flowers and Gifts in Onamia said roses are very popular but lilies are becoming equally popular. “They are very fragrant and elegant.” She also recommends to get the most bang for your buck, order a spring mixed bouquet. Sunshine Flowers will also deliver. If you call at least a day ahead, your order will be guaranteed in time for Valentine’s Day. Call (320) 532-4132.

Me? I believe love, affection and romance should be given to those you love every day of the year – not just on Valentine’s Day. But I will admit, I am a sucker for flowers, chocolate and wine.

Vivian LaMoore is the editor of the Messenger.

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