I’m going to admit that last year I was wallowing in self-pity during Valentine’s Day.
And even though many people do it, that is not the point of the (non) holiday, right?
Most will agree that the point of Valentine’s Day is love.
Love for another. Love for yourself.
So, what did I decide to do in my self-pity?
Love? Not quite.
I decided to write a blog article.
An article that was supposed to be fun.
And, of course, while wallowing, I – ahem – attempted to find some fun things for single and solo parents to do on Valentine’s Day.
Then, I stopped.
I got tired.
I didn’t finish.
I gave up.
I’m sure that did the readers no good. Especially the ones who were really looking for something fun to do.
(I was originally not going to link to the article, but I thought you might like to see how my attitude, and writing, have changed. So, here it is.)
Yes, I was a hot mess.
The article you’re reading now was originally going to be about how I was pining over an empty front passenger seat.
And how I found resources to overcome all that.
Then, you would have been directed to each of those resources.
But, honestly, I do that all the time.
So, this Valentine’s Day, I thought I would have some fun.
And finish what I started.
Give you some fun Valentine’s Day facts to put a smile on your face. Or, at least, make you chuckle.
Coupled with some fun things to do as a single parent. (See what I did there?)
This article can be my opportunity to apologize and bury last year’s pity party with one swift arrow.
I won’t delete the old article…
But I will kick that depressing ‘give up’ attitude right in its nauseating butt.
My Valentine’s Day History
Back when I was getting my blogging feet wet, I wrote an article on the history of Valentine’s Day.
I included traditions of various countries. And places to go if you just did not want to deal with it.
I called it, Breaking Up Saint Valentine’s Day. (Seems like I had a bash Valentine’s Day theme going, huh?)
So, I’m not going to go over the history. Especially since a lot of it is contradictory.
I will mention some fun (and funny) past traditions and Valentine’s Day facts.
And, as a bonus (because I’m a parent-educator and love finding teachable moments), include any relevant Valentine’s Day activities to do with your kiddos…
Or alone – simply to refresh yourself.
Let’s start with a popular misconception about Valentine’s Day participants.
Westerners are Sex-crazed Maniacs
In 2011, Iran banned Valentine cards, Valentine gifts, teddy bears and any other symbol or expression of ‘the day that will not be mentioned.’
Religious activists in Pakistan and India followed suit. It was to protest the day of shame and lust.
In case you didn’t know, they view Valentine’s Day as a Western holiday. A holiday when Westerners can satisfy their “sex thirst.”
Welsh tradition says a child born on Valentine’s Day wins the love lottery. In other words, they will have many lovers.
But an animal born on Valentine’s Day is out of luck.
A Valentine’s Day calf will be of no use for breeding purposes. And eggs hatched that day will turn out rotten.
So, acting like rabbits? Good. Being a rabbit? Not good.
There’s also a tradition that says a kiss on Valentine’s Day is considered to bring good luck all year.
Here’s what you can do
Listed as one of 11 Foods That Are Killing Your Sex Drive, chocolate just might be what the doctor ordered for you this Valentine’s Day.
So, go ahead. Buy the BIG box of dark chocolate and enjoy.
Now, about those Valentine’s Day births…
If you’re a farmer, you can make the best out of a bad breeding situation. Sell the calf for meat and use the egg shells for gardening.
Something for you and the kids
If you really want to have some fun (cue mischievous laugh), get the kids involved in making one of these Valentine’s Day chocolate treats. Then, send the whole thing to your co-parent.
(Kidding. Not kidding. Kidding.)
You know. Because chocolate…kills…
It’s always a pick-me-up to get as many hugs and kisses as you can from your kiddos. They can fill your good luck baskets and fill your emotional baskets, too.
Here’s another Valentine misconception.
If It’s Not About Sex, It’s About Marriage
Young girls in the U.S. and the U.K. traditionally believed they could tell what type of man they would marry based on the type of bird they saw first on Valentine’s Day.
- Blackbird = clergyman
- Robin redbreast = sailor
- Goldfinch = rich man
- Sparrow = farmer
- Bluebird = happy man
- Crossbill = argumentative man
- Dove = good man
- Woodpecker = no marriage at all
I wonder what it means if you see a black vulture? I’ve seen a lot of those lately.
(All the single ladies! Now get your binoculars UP!)
In Germany, girls would put a boy’s name next to onions they planted on Valentine’s Day. The girls believed they would marry the boy whose name was closest to the first onion to grow.
These girls were not wasting time, were they? According to Harvest to Tables’ Onion Growing Tips, green onions can be ready 20 to 30 days after planting. Dry bulb onions take longer. 100 to 175 days.
Here’s what you can do
If you have friends that are also single parents, invite them (and kids) over for a potluck Valentine Party. Remind each other that life can still be fun.
Keep it classy, though. No bashing and no trash talk.
And in case you don’t want all that potential craziness in your house, find a family friendly restaurant. If you live near an arcade/restaurant like Dave and Buster’s, bonus.
Something for you and the kids
These paper plate lovebirds are simple and cute.
Maybe planting onions are a stretch. But you can take them and make…
Or check out the Valentine Food Ideas for Kids to get inspiration and ideas. Create some fabulous memories with your kids.
Valentine’s Day Traditions That Went the Way of the Dodo…Some Forcibly
In France, there was a tradition called loterie d’amour (drawing for love). Men and women would fill houses that faced one another. Then they would take turns calling one another and pairing off. The men who weren’t satisfied with their woman could leave her and choose another. In the end, the jilted women and the leftover women would get together and start a bonfire with a ceremonial burning of the pictures of those men.
You can imagine this getting out of hand. The French government eventually banned the tradition.
If weird traditions bring you joy, you might like this.
In 18th century England on the eve of Valentine’s Day, a girl would pin four bay leaves to her pillow, eat a hard-boiled egg, and the shell. If she dreamed of a boy that night, she would soon marry him.
Why It Gotta Be Black?
South Koreans have a romantic “holiday” (sort of) once a month. I’m sure you’re thinking about how depressed a single person would feel with all that love going around. Well, they took care of that. One of the “holidays” is Black Day on April 14. It is specific to single people. They come together and eat noodles served with Black bean sauce. They dress in black, wear black accessories, and black nail polish.
I think it might be appropriate for me to stay in black drag until Tax Day is over. What do you think?
Speaking of black, China has its own version of Black Friday. It’s called Singles Day. Celebrated on November 11, single people sit in their offices and shop online ’til they drop. There’s technically no one to bring them flowers, right?
Cue the Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand track.
Legends That Were Born on Valentine’s Day
Although the single was released on April 29, 1967, Aretha Franklin’s anthem for confident women was recorded on Valentine’s Day.
White House Tapes
The earliest recorded conversation is February 16, 1971. But we’ll let them have two days for installation. And to make sure there weren’t any bugs in the system.
Legends That Need to Get Over Themselves
The Introduction of Penicillin
There’s a legend that penicillin was introduced on Valentine’s Day.
However, Alexander Fleming, the Scottish scientist who discovered it, recounted the date as the morning of Friday 28 September 1928.
The first patient treated was on March 14, 1942.
Knowing that penicillin was used to treat certain sexually transmitted diseases, I’m almost certain of why this legend exists.
The Original Groundhog Day
Another legend says Groundhog Day was first observed on Valentine’s Day.
Sorry, but the earliest mention of Punxsutawney Phil falling in love with his shadow is on February 2, 1840.
Busy day, but not THE day
Though I’m sure Valentine’s Day is one of UPS’ busiest days, it is not the date of its founding.
In 1919, American Messenger Company (founded on August 28, 1907), changed its name to United Parcel Service.
So, there you have it. My apology and penance.
Some Valentine’s Day facts to get you out of yourself and laughing again.
At least I hope you realized that things are not so bad.
You’re not planning onions.
Or eating hardboiled eggs – Whole.
Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day? Any ideas you would like to try. I’d love it if we could bounce realistic ideas off one another. You can put them in the comments.
If you have your kids with you this Valentine’s Day, make some wonderful memories.
If you don’t make sure to take care of you.
If you’re thinking about taking it easy this Valentine’s Day, why not do it with an audiobook from Audible?
Right now, Audible is having a 2 for 1 sale on
Mysteries and Thrillers.