I remember hating Valentines Day. I remember hating it even more when watching couples smooch and women proudly carry bouquets of flowers. Not receiving flowers or a box of chocolates did a number on me, pushing me to the brink of bitterness, sadness, and anger. It’s almost as if not receiving those tokens of love made me feel unloved.
It’s silly, really. Just because one has a Valentine doesn’t mean the relationship will see another February 14th. Our obsession (mine included) with this commercialized holiday is even more ridiculous when you learn the origins of Valentines Day. From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, where men whipped women with the hides of animals that they had just killed. According to historical research, young women would line up to be hit by the young men as they believed this would increase fertility.
How romantic, no? Hell no.
The two day celebration also included a matchmaking lottery. Young men drew names of women from a jar and that would be the gal they’d rock and knock boots with for the duration of the festival. If they hit it off, they sometimes stayed together after the sexual connection was made. Otherwise, they’d go there separate ways.
Lastly, there is the role of the Catholic Church, which named February 14th Valentines Day after a Roman emperor executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14. Being martyrs, the lives of the two Valentine’s were celebrated on February 14th, now called St. Valentines Day.
So when did Valentines Day meet love? When Chaucer and Shakespeare sweetened the message in their works of art. It’s almost as if they took a scene from HBOs “Real Sex” and reedited the piece to read like The Notebook. Commercialism soon followed suite, spoiling the day for singles who don’t need a reminder of their singledom and for couples who feel pressured to create magic on every February 14th. But don’t fret, Pepitas. There are only 3 hours till Valentines Day is another day you can cross off on your calender. If you celebrate Valentines Day, enjoy the time with your significant other and loved ones. If you are in a bitter bubble, take a needle and pop it! Nothing should bring you down, especially not a holiday where fornicating with strangers was the best gift to receive.