|I hope your Valentine's Day is better than this poor sucker's.|
Alvintine's Day is an alternative holiday I used to celebrate with my one of friends when we were teenagers. We'd give each other chocolate and eat it while watching action movies. We never had boyfriends, and I went through a protracted grunge phase during which I eschewed all things flowery and lacy, so Valentine's Day didn't have any appeal for me during those years.
In my early 20s, I wrote an Alvintine's Day story for my single girlfriends. I don't know if it was an attempt to legitimize a made-up holiday, or if I just had a lot of spare time, or both. Either way, I thought I'd share it with you.
(And I promise, this is not an "I hate Valentine's Day" post by a jaded spinster, in case you have already begun the eye-rolling.)
Read more after the jump.
St. Alvin: The Patron Saint of Single Girls
Based on a completely untrue story
Once upon a time, a handful of bright, charming, attractive girls decided not to prematurely marry the first fool to come along with a glass slipper. These girls, while waiting for their Princes to wake from their hundred years' slumber, wound up being single far into their twenties [ahem, or thirties, apparently]. They formed a new caste of social outcasts, scornfully called "old maids," and were mocked at baby showers, dinner parties, and at the grocery store as they bought their frozen Lean Cuisine dinners for one.
A kindly chocolatier named Alvin took pity on their plight. On the mid-winter day for lovers, as the single girls sat in their homes, hiding from romance and happy couples, Alvin delivered to each girl a small box of truffles with his best wishes. In the accompanying note, he encouraged them not to lose hope that they would one day marry the men of their dreams, but in the meantime, to wait on God, and to travel and learn and live life to its fullest.
Alvin's kindness burst like a ray of hope on the girls' grim existence. They took his advice, and used their singleness for the good of others, and for the glory of God.
When Alvin died many years later, he was made a saint by a unanimous vote of single girls everywhere, who carried on his legacy by giving chocolates to other single girls on the anniversary of his gift, dubbed "St. Alvintine's Day," and by enjoying their singleness until their Princes Charming arrived.
It's a stupid story, evidencing the struggle of a 23-year old single woman to find her place in the world while seeking contentment in her current gifted state (but in truth, the mocking at baby showers and dinner parties did really happen); however, it still rings a little true. For a 30-something with no beau or fiance or husband, even the church can be a place of discomfort around the holidays (especially this one), when we are vulnerable to pitying looks and condescending inquiries about our plans, or are left out of couples-oriented activities by nature of not having a better half. Romantic and married love are beautiful and God-honoring, but even the most contented single can find Valentine's Day and its associated festivities a little challenging.
However, after dreading this day all week, and grumbling about not being able to go to the movies because I imagine it will be full of teenagers making out, I got a little perspective last night, when someone shared this passage at my bible study's chocolate fellowship:
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. Romans 5:8-9
Reality check time - are you ready?
- You think you're lonely and unloved? Someone of infinite worth died to justify you and save you from God's wrath. Get over it. Love and serve Him.
- You think you know what romance and true love are? God gave us His only Son. That's only a SQUILLION times more romantic than flowers or chocolates (but I will accept the chocolates, thanks). Quit watching romantic comedies and Disney movies and start emulating Christ.
(I get bossy sometimes. But you like it, right? All three of you who read this blog?)
That being said, have a very happy Valentine's/Alvintine's Day, everyone! Married or single, may you love one another, and may you be filled with the love of Jesus Christ.
And may the movie theater be relatively empty, because I still want to see Les Miserables.
Image credit: Georges Barbier's "Visez au coeur, belles dames!" (aim for the heart, fair ladies), 1925. Scan of a postcard I've had for ages.