Is love in the air? What is it supposed to smell like anyway? Axe Body Spray? Who is Cupid and why don’t they wear pants? Are they good demons or evil sprites? Why is it okay that they shoot arrows at innocent lonely grumps anyway? Who made Valentine a Saint? And did they even know what chocolate tasted like? Here’s a little breakdown on why Valentine’s Day is stupid.
As we approach that most reviled holiday–the one that makes single folk question their value and couples fret over how to appropriately buy into the $henanigans in a thoughtful and non-commercial way–we all must ask ourselves one important question: Why do we participate in this grand bedazzled heart-shaped trollfest?
It doesn’t have anything to do with Love. Love comes in too many flavors to have a single day of celebration. I mean, are we talking Eros or Philia? Does the honeymoon phase count? Or is Valentine’s Day only for folks who file taxes jointly? And either way, if buying a teddy bear and a box of chocolates is the only way you’re getting some play from your sweetheart then maybe you need to dip your ashy unkempt toes back in the dating pool.
The murky origins of this shady day of forced displays of affection sprout from two possible seeds. Some believe that a Roman cleric by the name of Valentine defied official edicts to keep men single for warmongering purposes–and was then beheaded! He performed secret weddings so that young folks could consummate to their hearts’ content before one of the two then marched off to the perils of war. That’s pretty honorable, and if it’s the true origin of the day then–greeting cards be damned–I will toast Saint Valentine for his commitment to youthful carousing.
However, the more saucy origin has to do with the pagan holiday of Lupercalia, a Roman holiday dedicated to the fertility god Faunus. As you may imagine, this was a bacchanalian flesh fest with more carnal motivations than simply holding hands and heavy petting whilst watching a romcom. And maybe this is the way some folks celebrate their Valentine’s Day–fetishes and kinks in full swing, a celebration of uninhibited bonding (…ahem, bondage?), and of self-love as much as love for another.
Whatever the history may be, this Valentine’s Day, take a minute to remind yourself that your love is more complex than that garish pink display at the grocery store. If you think Valentine’s day is stupid, maybe try re-framing it outside of the context of what’s being sold to you in all those targeted ads. Remind yourself that being single isn’t a character fault and doesn’t reflect negatively on your worth or purpose. Valentine’s day is about remembering how lovable you are, that you are a damn sexy gift that is just waiting for the right person to peel the wrapping paper from, whether that’s on the evening of the 14th after a candle-lit dinner or on any other damn night of the year that you feel like giving that gift to some lucky sap.
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