A holiday celebrating the commercialism of Love? Meh. Color me cynical. I do not heart this Hallmark holiday. It gives me hives. You know what else? I am not alone. According to Allison Linn, Senior writer at msnbc.com,
“Valentine’s Day is still about chocolates, hearts, teddy bears and romantic sentiments. But a growing number of the recently or steadfastly single are getting in on the holiday as well, spawning anti-Valentine’s Day cards, T-shirts and parties.”
Chickee, you had me at spawning: Now you are speaking my language.
Linn further states that: “…the majority of the anti-Valentine’s Day items […] fall into two categories: they are either anti-love or just against the consumerism associated with the day. (Never mind that people are taking part by buying something anyway.)”
While I am not sure exactly which anti-Valentine phlanx I am most allied to, let it be known that the WSW is not jaded. Despite the fact that l-o-v-e is a 4-letter word, I still believe it is a many-splendored thing! Also, I am not anti-consumerism, seeing as supporting the economy is not only splendored, it is downright patriotic. Furthermore, I am not entirely certain what a “splendored thing” is, but if it it is one of those subtle side-effects from the night before that invokes itching, burning or a restraining order, who wants that anyways?
Feeling compelled to validate my position on this matter, I began to investigate the origins of this seasonal disorder. According to John Roach at National Geographic:
“Not surprisingly, Valentine’s Day, like Halloween, is rooted in pagan partying. The lovers’ holiday traces its roots to raucous annual Roman festivals where men stripped naked, grabbed goat- or dog-skin whips, and spanked young maidens in hopes of increasing their fertility, said classics professor Noel Lenski of the University of Colorado at Boulder. “While it’s not known whether the legend is true, Lenski said, “it may be a convenient explanation for a Christian version of what happened at Lupercalia.”
The annual pagan celebration, called Lupercalia, was held every year on February 15 and remained wildly popular well into the fifth century A.D.—at least 150 years after Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. “It is clearly a very popular thing, even in an environment where the Christians are trying to close it down,” Lenski said. “So there’s reason to think that the Christians might instead have said, OK, we’ll just call this a Christian festival.” The church pegged the festival to the legend of St. Valentine. According to the story, in the third century A.D. Roman Emperor Claudius II, seeking to bolster his army, forbade young men to marry. Valentine, it is said, flouted the ban, performing marriages in secret. For his defiance, Valentine was executed in A.D. 270—on February 14, the story goes.
Aha! I knew it. Valentines’ Day IS Halloween! Same shit, different costumes, candy, blah blah blah. Nonetheless, studmuffin, you had me at men stripped naked. The rest of the gobbledygook is the same ole, same ole party-crashing old white man rhetoric justifying the termination of a perfectly good celebration of The “L” word. Now we are reduced to cards, candy, and painful eleventh-hour decisions at last call that may very well involve the word fugly.
Bring back Lupercalia!!!! Until then, I will be wearing black this Valentine’s Day, and I encourage people wishing to disengage from this high-pressure holiday to be left to their own devices. Regardless of whether they require batteries or not.
*thanks to cafepress for the shot cupid, batteries, and f*ck V.D. pics