EDIT: I have just been informed by a helpful commenter that the information I based the following post on is wrong. I got lazy and didn’t fact check and I posted and commented on erroneous information. Too bad, really, because I was looking forward to proposing a “traditional” valentine’s day event to my wife. Wink wink. Anyway, I’ll do some more research later and post the results. In the meantime, I’ll just remind myself and all you kids in tv land that assuming makes an ass out of you and me. And now to my shamefully wrong post:
V-Day is coming up. No, not this v-day (although that will be shortly after), this one. My partner and I generally refer to Valentine’s day as “Hallmark day.” I did a little research, though, and found that it wasn’t always this commercialized. In fact, in Roman times:
To begin the festival, Roman priests, would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. The boys then sliced the goat’s hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day around 498 A.D. The Roman ‘lottery’ system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed.
Trust the Christians to break up a fun party. To be honest, getting slapped with blood-soaked hide sounds more exciting than most Valentine’s day festivities, and being romantically paired via lottery sounds like some parties I went to in the 70s.
In the past, the wife and I have somewhat celebrated Valentine’s day. For our first V-day, I was still in high school and not out yet, so the wife brought a male friend to my school and had him hand me some silky boxers and chocolate. A couple of years ago we stayed home and watched Sex and the City all night, ordering and then sending back some Chinese take-out. This year, I actually would like to celebrate. I don’t know, I just the two of us need a holiday. She is adamantly against it, though, so I’ll have to be stealthy – arrange a non-Valentine’s treat for an alternate day or something. Maybe get some bloody strips of hide, a bowl full of keys…