There is no shortage of strange and hilarious stories revolving around Valentine's Day. The day of love merits such distinction. But the Feast of St. Valentine of Rome presents an entirely peculiar set of circumstances for someone named Valentin. In commemoration of the day, I'd like to share some of my favourite anecdotes I've experienced over the years.
Preface—I indirectly use VD on a regular basis as a pronunciation reference when introducing myself. "Valentine without the 'e' at the end." During one introduction recently, before I had a chance to utter my usual epigram, someone suggested I use the line. Quickly she inquired, "That never occurred to you?"
Between 2006-2010 I was single and would invariably find myself at Club Charles every Valentine's Day. It didn't matter who I ended up speaking to, upon introductions there would be a demand to examine my driver's license. Of all days, nobody believes a random stranger they meet on VD will be named Valentin, it seems too absurd even for coincidence. Without exaggerating, the examination of my license during these episodes is as scrutinous as a TSA agent's. I get requests to see my license on VD to this day.
The most common question I get every day of the year, not just VD, is was I born on VD? Nowhere did this most risibly play out than one year on my actual birthday, which is in late March. A good friend, Ben, invited me to Rocket To Venus for a drink to celebrate. Walking up to the entrance, we see two young women whom Ben knows. Ben introduces me, "This is Valentin. It's his birthday today!" One of the ladies responds with genuine interest, "Oh cool! Were you born on Valentine's Day?"
The peculiarities do not relegate themselves to my bachelorhood. On the VDs during which I am involved, the waiters and waitresses have always greeted me with a huge smile and wink upon returning my credit card after dinner. As if the very concept of a person named Valentin out with his girlfriend on Valentine's Day was just too dippily perfect not to smile over. That's the best deduction I can conjure.
Without a doubt, the loveliest part of being named Valentin on VD is every year I get a call or text from my Mother expressing her love and affection. I'd get the same from my Grandmother before she lost her wits. When I was younger they'd even get me gifts. It made me feel undeservedly special, but I welcomed and enjoyed it all the same. Valentine's Day is a day that elicits rueful laughter for some and romantic yearning for others, but any reason for love is the best one.