Hearts Inquire

As we coast into my least favorite month, I’m a little hard-pressed to point out any creative bright spots in February. Oh, look! There’s a holiday in the middle of the month where couples can stress over their miserable attempts at communicating their love accurately and succinctly on one day, and singles can accurately and succinctly flip a certain finger at the aforementioned couples. What fun for all.
 
It’s not that I’m cynical about Valentine’s Day, it’s kind of fun in it’s own look-at-me,-I’m-vanilla kind of way. It’s lacking a little pizazz, holiday-wise. I assumed that the holiday was invented by greeting card companies looking for a winter boost in sales, but Google has informed me that it was a holiday in full swing back in the 19th century. The greeting card myth began taking hold after the release of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in 2004 where Jim Carrey’s character states that it was “invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.”
 
My next guess was that its origins had something to do with St. Valentine, although when you put Saint in front of someone’s name it kind of takes the fizz out of the Cheerwine if you know what I’m saying. Turns out there were several St. Valentines in the third century and one had the least romantic moment of his life on February 14th when his head was chopped off. There was another executed Valentine or two in there, and somewhere along the line, someone decided to celebrate their deaths. As you can imagine, the sale of “I like you, decapitate me if you like me back” cards weren’t big sellers. Eventually, St. Marketing came along and sprinkled some chocolate and sexual tension in with the dead guys, and the holiday took off. 
 
Digging back a little further, some historians believe that Valentine’s Day started as the pagan festival Lupercalia celebrated by Romans on February 15th. Quoting the History Channel, and who can you trust if not the makers of Swamp People and Hitler’s Plan to Atom Bomb New York, “Lupercalia was a bloody, violent and sexually-charged celebration awash with animal sacrifice, random matchmaking, and coupling in the hopes of warding off evil spirits and infertility.” Hallmark, eat your heart out. 
 
Whatever the origins, the past is the past, and the present is whatever we give ourselves or our loved ones on the 14th. Might I humbly suggest the ultimate love meal trifecta: champagne, french fries, and Ghirardelli brownies hot from the oven? Maybe with a little vanilla ice cream on top to keep the evil spirits at bay.
 

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