Monday, 4 February 2013

Operation Valentinus 2013

Third post of day. Gracious.

I just received this email:

Dear Seraphic,

I hope you are willing to publish this email.  With Valentine's Day soon approaching, I was wondering if you would allow us single ladies to commence an Operation St. Valentinus for you?  I propose that we, your readers do a novena to St. Valentine for your intentions, whatever they may be.  The blog has seen a lot of discussion about the struggle of single life- Valentine's Day seems like a great opportunity to let the crosses do some good.  We can start on Wednesday, February 6 and end on the 14th. Here's a simple prayer:

Almighty God, grant we beseech You,
that we who celebrate the glorious martyrdom of St. Valentine, Your
servant, may by his intercession be filled with the love of God and
neighbor and be delivered from all the evils that threaten us.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I hope Protestant and other Singles of Good Will will join us too!

Thanks for your continued blogging,


Yes, yes! By all means, begin Operation Valentinus. As you may recall, the first part of Operation Valentinus is to send cards and/or chocolate to 3-5 fellow Single friends. You sign up here, and you go ahead and send. The idea is that you do something nice for someone who might otherwise get nothing for Valentine's Day. Then, even if you get nothing, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have spread some affection into the lives of other girls.

The second part of Operation Valentinus is to plan something fun with dateless Single friends to do on the night of February 14. I recommend this involve staying in, as the restaurants will be full of smirking or scowling couples and the bars swarming with sexual opportunists. ("Why are you girls alone on Valentine's Day?") One great anti-Valentine's Day comedy is Private Benjamin. It is not for children, but it is very funny indeed and one of the greatest films of the "romance is not everything" genre.

Some people find the idea of Operation Valentinus unnecessary and merely playing into society's artificial obsession with Valentine's Day. And indeed if you live in a place that is not plastered with Valentine's Day stuff (e.g. much of Continental Europe), you probably don't feel like you are missing out on something. But where I lived for most of my life, Valentine's Day was indeed a Big Fat Deal and its emphasis on popularity/romantic success was palpable even in grade school, where people counted up their valentines. So I think that where you cannot escape Valentine's Day reminders, it is best to embrace the day by sending some affection your Single friends' way.

My St. Valentine's novena intention is for an increase in pastoral sensitivity around the needs of Single Catholics, in particular more homilies about the Single Life.

FWIW, B.A. and I are not doing anything for Valentine's Day because he flies back to the UK the day before. We didn't do this on purpose; that's just the way the flight schedule crumbles.

Married Lady tip: Married Ladies should think very carefully about whether or not to send Valentine's Day stuff to Single female friends. (Sending stuff to unrelated Single male friends is out of the question.) Like copies of Seraphic Singles, Valentine's stuff seems to get a warmer welcome when it comes from fellow Singles. I get more cautious about this the older I get.


Anna said...

On St. Valentine's Day, my 2 single roommates and I are cooking a fancy dinner for our other single friends!

Seraphic said...

Yay! That's the spirit!

Athanasius Lover said...

Alas, I don't think I have 3-5 single friends anymore. This past year was the year of weddings, engagements, and new romantic relationships for most of my previously single friends. I can think of two single friends, only one of whom is in town. Maybe I'll see if she would like to get together on the 14th.

I do actually have another very close single friend, but not only is he male, he is single because he is a priest, and I would never send him anything for Valentine's Day. It would be totally inappropriate. Plus, he is extremely content with his celibacy and I doubt he feels lonely on Valentine's Day.

Realizing that I am at the median age for getting married and haven't yet dated anyone, and that I no longer have even 3 close friends whom I know are single, makes being single feel pretty rough right now.

Last Valentine's Day a married friend sent me a card in the mail, and that meant a lot to me. I really was glad that she remembered that I was alone that day. So married friends can send Valentine's Day stuff, provided the relationship between the friends is right.

Maggie L said...

I happen to be fortunate this year because I have to go back to work from 7-10pm on Valentine's Day, which means that even if I had someone to celebrate with, I wouldn't be able to. My plan is to pick up dinner (oh! the luxury!) after I get off work at 4, then go home, eat dinner, and lie on the couch until I have to go back. I'm a teacher by day, tutor by night at a military school, so my students will all be in the same boat--I'm thinking about baking for them (and the ladies I work with) as an expression of good will.

Jam said...

I've sent out "Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day" and "Happy Galentine's Day" cards to friends in years past and it is really pretty fun (those are 30 Rock and Parks & Rec jokes respectively). I only have two friends I send to rather than 3-5, but I still like being able to go nuts with pink and red pens, lacey paper doilies, heart-shaped anything, etc. As a single girl you're "supposed" to hate Valentine's Day and throw men-suck parties with black decorations etc -- but personally that kind of cynicism is toxic for me, and I love having a project that "gives me permission" to participate in the themey fun. So there. Big fan of OV.

Athanasius Lover -- I feel you. I don't have anything to say, except I totally identify with that third paragraph of yours.

Maria said...

Athanasius Lover, send me your address! I'll send you a card :)
Looking forward to participating in the group novena too.
I've barely noticed the St Val's rush this year because I just moved into my first apartment by myself! (I've shared before with roommates)
Single Travail I have suffered from in the past: somehow the fact I'm not married seem an indication that I was still a child, and would be living in my parents' house forever, dependent on them and living by their rules. Being out (or almost - there's some work to do in the apartment before I can live there full-time) is freeing and fulfilling -I'm really enjoying all the odds and ends of tidying up, shopping, unpacking, furnishing, and planning when I will be able to have my first dinner party (hopefully this weekend for my little brother's birthday). It's so close I can taste it!

Kate P said...

I am totally counting my nun great-aunt and my (twice) widowed grandfather as seraphic singles and sending them glittery valentines.

Seraphic said...

I shall be blogging up a storm on and around Valentine's Day, so anyone who wants can drop into the combox for a good chat or moan about the whole thing.

Athanasius Lover said...

Well, I found out that my one single friend in town recently started dating, so it looks like I will be alone on Valentine's Day.

Maria, I will send my address to Seraphic, as I assume she knows how to get it to you. Thanks!

Seraphic said...

Maybe, maybe not! If it were me, I'd ask before assuming she has Valentine's Day plans.