Did you know the celebration of Valentine’s Day began with the Romans? There are two basic theories. One, a raucous Roman festival known as Lupercalia took place on February 15. Men stripped naked and spanked young maidens in hopes of upping their fertility. Okay – here the writer me has to stop and shake a finger at the pronoun “their”. Are the spankers trying to up their own fertility or the fertility of the young maiden getting her fanny reddened? Whatever, right?
The next theory is that while the Roman Emperor Claudius II was trying to build his army, young men weren’t allowed to marry—apparently single men make better soldiers. Kinda like no sex before game day for football players? So anyway, in the spirit of love, St. Valentine, a true romantic at heart, defied the Emperor and performed secret marriages. For his “crimes”, he was executed on February 14. Thus…we have Valentine’s Day.
So that’s the history of Valentine’s Day. I thought I’d share my history with Valentine’s Day.
First, let me clarify, I’m single. Have been going on 30 years. It’s not because I’m anti-marriage. I’m anti-jerk.
1) Dated this guy for a while through several holidays. So there was ample time to, you know, maybe notice those giant Hallmark displays every time you walked into an establishment. But alas no cards, no flowers, not even a mid-price ranged meal at a restaraunt without a drive-thru. Said guy actually asked me to marry him. His marriage proposal—verbatim—”You might as well. You’ve got a crappy job, you’ve got two kids, and you’re not Miss America.” The sad part? I actually thought about it for a few days.
When I said thanks but no thanks, said guy “broke up with me” and was married a month later. The real funny part was when he asked me if I’d watch his three kids that he had custody of while he and his new wife were honeymooning. I politely told him no. He then showed up on my doorstep on the eve of his wedding and wanted to make sure we were still friends, and would I consider just one more roll in the hay for “old times sake”. I wasn’t so polite that time.
2) Ever met a guy that was sooooo nice, it became annoying? Yeah. That guy. I did get flowers, not for any holiday or anything—just because he was completely, 100%, totally, without a doubt, in love. Second date. When I told him I just didn’t think it would work, he called. And called. And called. Sixty-three times. In a row.
3) The guy with no heat in his car. I could be sympathetic. I mean, I could wear a coat, right? But…something was messed up with the front seat and it wouldn’t, like, stay in place. This was an old car with a bench front seat. And apparently, it wasn’t bolted to whatever it needed to be bolted to. Every time he would put on the brakes, the seat would, really, no lie, slide forward. Then if the force of gravity or whatever scientific term applies didn’t work and, the seat didn’t slide back far enough to unwedge your knees from under the dashboard, you had to join forces with the driver and push back a little. Gosh darn it. I’m really not a pampered princess, but…seriously?
4) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Guy wasn’t too bad. He was actually nice, not bad looking, had a good job. We saw each other for a couple weeks and had actually progressed to simple kisses. Then one night it kinda went beyond that and moved into a little heavier kissing. I’ll spare you the details, but, you know…when you’re all in to it and running your fingers through someone’s hair. Nothing can spoil the mood faster than your fingers coming across all kinds of bumps and lumps on your guy’s scalp. Hair plugs? Toupee? I had no idea but all I could think about—and I swear this is the truth—was “He’s a Mutant!” I ended the relationship soon after. Like right there and then. I know, I know. It was probably really shallow of me but I just couldn’t move past it. I could have dealt with plugs or a rug even, but the not knowing before did me in. Never give a writer’s imagination fuel. The man was a mutant.
So that’s my Valentine’s Day history. I’ve always managed to not even be casually dating someone around February 14 so no flowers, no cards, no candy, no jewelry for me. But I’m okay with it. My own car has heat and the seats only move if you want them to.