Earlier today at the Rothechilde Foundation Thunderdome:
Me: “Greetings and Salutations, dear friends! What in the Hell is going on here? Have you all gone soft and sentimental?”
Charlotte (mouthful of chocolate): “Soft? No. But if my ass keeps eating all of the chocolate, the result may be my getting doughy in the middle:”
Manthony: “Naw, X-man, we ain’t gone soft. The Guvnor sent us some Valentine’s shit to send us into diabetic comas. Now, all this flower bullshit, I can always give ’em to some bitch at my club and get a pre-‘Steak and BJ day’ BJ. The cards, you can have them for target practice, mah nigga.”
Me: “Apparently, the sugar has made your brains deluded with carb-fed fats. You two are sorely mistaking me. I mean, since when do we sponsor any sort of corporate mass consumption that we ourselves are not responsible for creating ourselves?”
Madame Treasurer: “Well, we did’t include this sort of thing in the budget, and you didn’t write it in behind my back, so it is not our doing. What this is, is a gift from The Governor to us; probably some sort of thank you or reminder that he would like us to support his party when he’s out. The glad-handing season has begun.”
Me: “That makes me feel better. However, I must say that I cannot help but notice that my gifts seem to be missing; there is nothing here in front of my seat at our glorious table.”
M: “That, Sir, is because he didn’t send you anything.”
Perhaps that is why I hate Valentine’s Day. No, not because I was denied gifty goodness — I am rather used to that. While it may seem hard to believe, I tended to get snubbed rather often when I was in school during the Valentine’s Day classroom card bonanza. Back when I was in elementary, it was okay to leave other children out of your gift giving to the class. Hence, this may be why a day of love began to represent a day of “Love-for-everyone-but-you” Day. A day that has made your dear author the eternal flesh exemplar of a Rastafarian Charlie Brown. While I bought the other brats stuffed animals made of real fur, and my teachers dozens of roses, I myself was lucky to go home with a card that I stole from some kid running about on a sugar high, erased his name, and then added my own. I was particularly fond of those with Batman kicking someone’s ass while suggestively leering at Catwoman and Robin as they all pose within a giant heart.
When I reached secondary education, my success rate as a Valentine receiver improved greatly. Teens understand the value of a dollar; when you give a young lady a stuffed Max Headroom doll covered with mink fur, your popularity skyrockets. Instead of having a beau take you to Showbiz (now Chuck E. Cheese) for video games and beer, you could roll with me and have a five course dinner served by quality home servants, or take a weekend flight to New York for a dinner in a posh five-star restaurant. So, Valentine’s Day did improve for me. As an adult, I enjoyed similar success. However, I began to resent being expected to buy gifts on Valentine’s Day more each year. Finally, I decided that I would not participate in the day. No red. No candy. No expressions of love to be set aside and sent on this wonderful fourteenth day of February.
The reason I am not fond of the day is because I think a holiday that encourages you to shower those you love on one particular day with gifts as a reminder of such love is unnecessary Redundant even. I mean, for what other reason do we celebrate Christmas and birthdays? It is a day that Hallmark and the candy companies have decided that you should go out and prove your love with candy, cards, flowers, and jewelry – diamonds if you want some oral loving from the receiver of the gift. The day has little, if anything, to do with the man for whom the holiday is named.
Saint Valentine was a hitman for Al Capone. On February fourteen, ninety hundred and twenty-nine. Valentino killed seven dudes in a garage in Chicago at the order of Capone. His act was so incredible that he was beatified by the Pope. In his later years, he retired from his assassin’s lifestyle and performed marriages throughout the United States. Hence, the association with love. Okay, if you clicked the link, or if you happen to not be as gullible as a foreign exchange student being told that a “swirly” is how all piccolo players wash their hair at band camp. The actual story of Valentino still contains much gory, graphic violence. But that is where the similarities end.
If you ask me, I would have been much happier had modern Valentine’s Day stuck with the gory theme: the red could stand for the arterial blood spurting from the beheaded body of Valentine as it flopped in front of the executioner’s feet. The hearts we ingest could be symbols for the orgy of decadence that surely took place after this beheading…an orgy that could have ended with the beheaded’s heart being consumed by naked, Pagan Romans. Instead of Valentine cards promoting love, the cards would have the practical purpose of invitations to re-enactments or other sorts of parties. The flowers and candy? Well, excellent decorations and who can deny the decadence of chocolate. The presence of chocolate at an orgy increases the decadence factor by two thousand. Trust me on this one.
Perhaps that is too much for the common purpose. What if we stuck with the celebrating the day based on the apparent roots it has in Lupercalia. Now, that could be a party:
“While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to 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 each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.”
Now, that is what I call a good time! Priests, spankings, and what appears to be the beginnings of the modern “key party:” the chick names in the urn. Awesome.
However, instead of awesome, we have gone with doing what the corporate hogs of the world want us to do. We took a “holy” day and completely secularized it into a means to make money by false showing of sincerity. You think I am being cynical? Are you a parent? Did your kid take Valentine’s cards and candy to her/his class for the other children to stuff in cleverly painted paper bags or shoe boxes? Do you think said kid really wanted to share the goodies with that grody little Roger who will not stop picking his nose and wants to kiss him/her? Or that smelly kid in the back who beats everyone up and takes their popcorn money? If your child did want to do such things, you have a child worthy of being beheaded just as Saint Valentine was due to the magnitude of that young ‘uns martyrdom.
I realize I sound like the what the Grinch may have been had he decided to steal this day instead of the other terribly commercialized holiday. Really,I do. I just do not care that I sound that way. While I may not be know for being a tender and loving soul, I try to show expressions of friendship, love and devotion to those that I hold in my own black heart on a daily basis. Whether it be showing up at a board meeting with bagels or doughnuts for breakfast, or taking dear friends out to my personal range for a full day of target practice and trying out the latest creations from that wonderful workshop of Professor Z, or surprising Charlotte or my secretary with my nude tumescence ready for some naughty and fun action, I try to do something that shows that the people I adore know that I adore them, and I try to do so more than once per year…and not according to the demands of Hallmark.
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!