(unless they’re card, candy, or flower peddlers…)

Blessed be the name of St. Valentine, the patron of lovers and love everlasting…sorta… not to mention beekeepers, epileptics, and assorted travelers.

As with so many other things, we Americans tend to go overboard in the way we glom onto and adopt ancient folk festivals of one kind or another, the origins of which are only dimly recalled (even by Google). Still, when we do so it’s always with our own unique flash and inimitable style for doing so.

We’re not complaining here, folks, but only pointing out that’s what we Americans do, and, in the process if we somehow seem to over-commercialize such occasions…so what? It’s part of our national DNA, so to speak, even if some say Valentine doesn’t do anyone any favors…unless they’re, card, candy, or flower peddlers.. But in this era when it seems our world is fast going-to-hell-in-a-hand basket, it’s nice to know we still have a pause-button  available for…love…on our way to it.

Of course there are a lot of spoil-sports among us who insist on ridiculing this day as being nothing more than a cliché-ridden insincere display proving that Eros is simply an idiot-child of whimsy, and, a late-winter  grand scam…just to goose the economy forward into a more gainful year, etc., etc., etc.. Even scientific types join in with their two cents worth of mathematical formulas to quantify the odds of how to make being bitten by the love bug more of a sure thing. Yet the best that they’ve managed to come up with so far is that “love” is generally just a fifty-fifty proposition, and the best any of us can do about it is to pay our nickels…and take our chances.

Nevertheless, we think we’ve found the secret ingredient that can improve those odds. It’s called…propinquity…that is…when two people get to jointly share both time and presence in the same place. These days it’s one of the most unfamiliar and underused ingredients for setting the foundation for a long term love relationship. Without first having that foundation …nothing happens. Think of it as a “spark plug”, the kind that ignites an engine to make it work. Yes, there are certainly many other enticements to do that for us, such as…T&A Vegas show girls’ flash dancing and those half-time Super Bowl exhibitions of it, but these only aim to rev-up our motors to get them racing…and not ever intended to motivate us into or go for… cruise control.

Such things are not propinquity, they’re just examples of what an old Southern Baptist preacher once remarked to us, about the way a young couple passing by were holding hands and entwined like two morning-glory vines, saying: ” You’re wrong, son. They’re not in love…they’re just in heat!”

Well perhaps the following is the best definition for propinquity we’ve yet found with this bit of wry verse about it:                                                                                                    

“Propinquity, that sneaky brat,

lulled my senses and then begat

a gentle tender plea,

to subvert my heart from me.

 And now I can only wonder at  

how it managed to do…just that!”

Happy Valentine’s Day!