Valentine’s Day, fortunately, passes all but unnoticed in the Maud household (although I’ll seize any opportunity to eat a bag of red hots), but in younger, more dramatic years I sometimes let it ruin me. See, e.g., An unbalanced curmudgeon’s Valentine’s Day.
Although my loathing for the occasion soldiers on, I’ve outgrown the need to dress from head to toe in black on February 14. I don’t even mock coworkers who wear red. At least not to their faces.
The weekend’s Washington Post includes an interesting round-up of authors’ favorite love stories. Some of them are appropriately depressing. Sandra Cisneros chooses Marguerite Duras’ The Lover, and Kay Redfield Jamison picks, among other books, The End of the Affair. A.S. Byatt and Jonathan Franzen also contribute selections.
If you’re dying for more, a Sydney Morning Herald writer kicks off a longish, meandering article by imagining how Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown might write “a book about the secret origins of Valentine’s Day.” The article also offers up the sentence, “Truly, none of us is safe from an unexpected case of VD.” But I only skimmed the piece and am probably making it sound better than it is.
Finally, from the Scotsman:
If ever there was a case of a man’s sum being greater than his parts, it must be Saint Valentine; or is it more a case of the parts being all over the place? As the British greetings card industry pockets an annual £47.2 million spent on Valentine cards, confectioners, jewellers and balloon vendors go into overdrive and postmen deliver hernia-inducing loads of envelopes scrawled with silly rhymes, attempts to flesh out the saint of hearts and flowers can prove frustratingly ineffectual. It would take the skills of a historical novelist to put a human face on the elusive Valentine – which is precisely what has happened, with the recent publication of the novel Valentine, by American writer Chet Raymo.
And in honor of my Mississippi grandma, who, at 83, undergoes major surgery for cancer today, I bring you the Valentine’s Day pimento cheese recipe. (Isn’t it funny how you can become nostalgic even for your least favorite childhood foods? Thanks to Mr. Maud for the link.)