Here's to you saint valentine
February 21, 2014In 1537, Henry VIII said all of England should celebrate St. Valentine's Day. He set the official date as Feb. 14 and declared it a day for exchanging love messages like flowers and sweets.
Here we are 477 years later and 75 percent of American males still comply with the idea to send some kind of love message to their loved ones. Why Saint Valentine was chosen is a whole different story since the dude never even had a girlfriend.
Let's not get off message, however. The purpose of this column, one week after love and romance was in the air, and the story of Mr. and Mrs. Ives was featured in the Roadrunner, I wish to tell you that there were lots of curmudgeons willing to besmirch the purity of all things marriage, and romantic.
Herewith are some examples on the word Love:
"It is a mistake to speak of a bad choice in love, since as soon as the choice exists, it can only be bad," – Marcel Proust.
"The duration of passion is proportionate with the original resistance of the woman" – Honore de Balzac.
"Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl" – Stephen Leacock.
"Love is something that hangs up behind the bathroom door and smells of Lysol" – Ernest Hemingway.
"By the time you swear you're his, shivering and sighing, and he vows his passion is infinite, undying, one of you is lying." – Dorothy Parker.
"Love is two minutes and fifty-seconds of squishing noise. It shows your mind isn't clicking right." – Johnny Rotten.
"Love is only a dirty trick played on us to achieve the continuation of the species." – W. Somerset Maugham.
Now for some curmudgeonly thoughts about marriage:
"I couldn't see tying myself down to a middle-aged woman with four children, even though the woman was my wife and the children were my own." – Joseph Heller.
"The chain of wedlock is so heavy that it takes two to carry it – sometimes three." – Alexander Dumas.
"A ceremony in which rings are put on the finger of the lady and through the nose of the gentleman," – Herbert Spencer.
"The surest way to be alone is to get married." – Gloria Steinem
"The dread of loneliness is greater than the fear of bondage, so we get married." – Cyril Connolly.
"The most happy marriage I can picture … would be the union of a deaf man and a blind woman." – Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
"A friendship recognized by the police." – Robert Louis Stevenson.
And now for the word Romance:
"Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement." – Oscar Wilde.
"Romance, like the rabbit at the dog track, is the elusive, fake and never-attained reward which, for the benefit and amusement of our masters, keeps us running and thinking in safe circles." – Beverly Jones.
So there you have it. Like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, there are those punsters who just have to say something bad about the wonderful meaning of Valentine's Day. Bah, humbug to them.
While I'm writing about famous quotes, I might as well mention some I really admire, like:
"I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas." – Jean Kerr.
"What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing," – Oscar Wilde.
"I don't belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." – Groucho Marx.
"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctively native American criminal class except Congress." – Mark Twain.
And for those critics who may scoff and what is written here today, I say this:
"Criticism is the art wherewith a critic tries to guess himself into a share of the artist's fame." – George Jean Nathan.
P.S. – For my editor at the Roadrunner I suggest this quip from a TV commercial showing two owls perched on a tree limb. I'm changing a word of two to fit the occasion but one owl said, "I'm having lunch with Kim tomorrow."
The other owl said, "who?"