Valentine’s Day in America is one of the most busy days for flower shops and confectionery specialty shops. Flowers, cards, and candy are abound all over. The occasional fool how has messed up romantically and frantically trying to find a gift can be quite the humorous sight to see. Lovers usually book up all the reservations to the nice restaurants… Of course, with human nature and all, there are those seeking to get lucky after the vast show of romance. 😉 The single folks will lament or just roll their eyes… Though the perverse have “struck back” at the ideal of romance and made a counter-thesis to Valentines Day called “Steak and Blowjob Day [NOT SAFE FOR WORK!]“.
Wikipedia’s article on Valentine’s Day is interesting as it shows the origins of the event being very ritualistic rather than the romantic event we know now. Check out this piece below in the block-quote:
Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to pregnancy.
Source: Wikipedia article on Valentine’s Day
For those who want a lazy Cliff’s Note’s summary of the excerpt above… Men basically got stripped down naked while wielding thongs to whip and slap women for fun and laughs, while women got in the way of the herd of naked men in hopes to be impregnated in the fertility ritual of Lupercalia. Not really a flowers, love notes, and sweets sort of image for our modern day concept of Valentine’s Day. From the Wikipedia article again, the streets were anointed in the sacrificial blood of 2 wolves and 1 dog for the festival. Lucky for the civilized world that we don’t have the festival of Lupercalia every February 15th, because random wanton sex in public with folks that should NOT be naked in public would be rather disgusting.
The article also goes more into detail about the event was more about courtly love and friendship, rather than the material aspect of it. Yes, originally, trolling for tail was typically not the ultimate goal. Recognition of friends is one of the focuses of Valentine’s Day in elementary school. I was not the “popular” kids, but I got my fair share of cards from being a stand up person. Though I have heard some stories where there have been cruel or mean spirited kids making concerted efforts to make the unpopular kid a cast out by making sure they get no cards or ones with cruel messages. That causing some school teachers to enact policies to ensure that kindness is promoted.
On the commercialism tangent, you can’t go but about half a step and you hear some ad about Valentine’s items on sale at a local retailer. Hell, the retail jewelry business laps up Valentine’s Day due to the fact misconception that you “need” jewelry to put a physical representation of love on the person you’re enamored with. Card companies like Hallmark and Carlton Cards make a killing in profits when cards run about $5 – $7 a piece depending on decorations and other miscellaneous things tacked on to them. Is it really worth the trouble to fight all that mess just to express one’s feelings? Personally, I don’t think so.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, people should be considerate to those who are single. There’s nothing wrong with being in love, but at the same time it doesn’t hurt to cheer up those who are single. With how most people in the States are so centric on Valentine’s Day being a “holiday” about the ideal of romance, the secondary meaning of friendship is just completely lost. We can all joke about Valentine’s Day being known as “Single’s Awareness Day”, but the truth is we should be aware of those who are single. For some single folks, the day could serve as a jumping point to meeting that special someone.
Play nice and be merry on Valentine’s Day, no material gift should be a “prerequisite” for love and romance. Just think about it… Lupercalia could make a freaky comeback with the random wanton sex in public.