leave your inhibitions at the door
To this day I still don’t know why Boom Boom has NEVER liked Valentine’s Day.
I sorta get it now since we’ve been together for so long. Here’s how long it’s been – our wedding certificate was carved on stone tablets. Those of you in the same boat could agree that, at this point, your idea of romance is when your spouse shuts the bathroom door when downloading brownware. So, I’ve sort of given up on trying to celebrate it. Which means more wine money.
Seriously, I’m not that jaded about the holiday. I still do love a good romantic story and have always appreciated all the little traditions surrounding holidays like this.
But it recently struck me that I didn’t know how Valentine’s Day even started. I knew that it was originally St. Valentine’s Day but now the “Saint” part has been scrubbed away. I know it’s a tragedy that could be interpreted as another one in a long line of assaults on religion. But think about it – it’s a little weird buying crotchless panties and giving it to your significant other (male or female) on a day named after a Saint.
To satisfy my curiosity on the origins of the day, I did a little research –
– Apparently, there wasn’t one St. Valentine. There were probably three of them.
– The one most often cited is this guy in Rome who got tossed in jail because he performed wedding ceremonies for Roman soldiers. And it wasn’t because soldiers were forbidden to marry each other (like now) – they were forbidden from marrying. PERIOD.
– While locked up, he cured the jailer’s daughter of blindness which inspired the jailer’s family and servants to convert to Christianity. He also tried to convert the emperor, which lead to his beheading. How come you don’t see that on V-day cards?
– The first association of V-Day to romance was attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote –
For this was on seynt Volantynys day Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
– Bryd & Chese? I was excited because it’s truly a food-related holiday. But apparently that oh-so-great poet Chaucer couldn’t spell – “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”
– Nice thought, right? But February 14th is too early for birds to start mating, so Chaucer could’ve been thinking about a date much later in spring.
– Of course, that’s if you believe Chaucer wrote it. There were three other guys who wrote poems about birds mating around the same timeframe.
– I also learned there from Wikipedia that there was a chain of events that really allowed the holiday to pick up steam –
In 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own. Printers had already begun producing a limited number of cards with verses and sketches, called “mechanical valentines,” and a reduction in postal rates in the next century ushered in the less personal but easier practice of mailing Valentines. That, in turn, made it possible for the first time to exchange cards anonymously, which is taken as the reason for the sudden appearance of racy verse in an era otherwise prudishly Victorian.
So there you have it. While its origins are unknown, it’s perfectly clear that for centuries guys have been using Valentine’s Day to get lucky.
Too bad they didn’t have a song like this in Victorian times, because this is all you need to get “in the mood.”
Could’ve saved us a lot of hassle.
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? What’s your go-to song to “get things going”?