Happy Lupercalia, everyone. Yes, it’s that ancient Athenian holiday that celebrates the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera. In the Year of Our Lord 496, Pope Gelasius I petulantly abolished Lupercalia and replaced it with the feast of St Valentine. Valentine was martyred for his faith, after a long life of… doing… something good… that God knows about, Gelasius assured everyone.
Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules is the first recorded instance of Probably Saint Valentine’s feast being associated with boning romance. He mysteriously wrote:
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
Presumably Geoff was writing in code to avoid detection by King Richard II, for whom he wrote the poem. There is contention among scholarly circles as to what “chesing” your “make” is, though most agree that in the Olden Days, men were brides (“bryds”, in the Auld Lang Syne (“old tongue signifier”)), and they stalked women. With cheese. And the stalked women were their makes. WITH CHEESE.
Anyway, Valentine’s Day is a massive load of bullshit, perfectly suited to a society of people who like to be told when to be romantic and have their spontaneity made nice and obligatory. Here’s a sample conversation for your edification:
JOE: Hey. How’s it going?
RYAN: Good. How is it going with you?
JOE: Not bad. How’s things?
RYAN: Good. How are your things?
JOE: Good. What’s happening?
RYAN: Not much. What’s happening with you?
JOE: Not a lot. What’s new?
RYAN: This and that. What’s new with you?
JOE: Nothing interesting. Hey, what you doing for Valentine’s Day?
RYAN: FUCK YOU, MAN. FUCK YOU.
I’ll tell you another thing.
I’ll tell you another goddam thing.
Hearts don’t even look like that. They don’t look like that shape that “love hearts” are shaped like. If you, like, open someone’s chest up with a fucken knife, THEIR HEART DOESN’T LOOK LIKE THAT, MAN. THEIR HEART LOOKS LIKE A DARK RED SODDEN HEAP OF MEAT AND IT KEEPS ON BEATING FOR A FUCKEN WHILE AFTER YOU RIP IT OUT.
Happy Lupercalia, everyone! Smiley face!