1744 years ago a priest in Rome was clubbed,stoned and beheaded (why do we not say DE-headed?) for refusing to renounce his faith. Today, in his memory, some lucky lady will be able to receive merchandise such as the classy piece pictured above, lovingly crafted in Taiwan . Ugghh, how I loathe Valentine’s Day. A trip to the pharmacy makes me cringe looking at all the beady eyed, pink, red and white teddy bears, chintzy silk flowers and worst of all those ear assaulting little critters that butcher some classic tune and wave their arms about at the press of a red fabric circle. Whoever receives these things doesn’t really want them; the person who bought them is a mindless twit or a 4th grader and their relationship is most likely destined for the same place as these $7.99 pieces of holiday crappola: the dump. If the pressure is on on Valentine’s Day to show that special someone just how much you love them and you produce the balloon full of confetti and a scratchy Teddy Bear, that should tell you both something. Unless you’re in high-school, then pick up the ugly teddy bear and don’t invest too much, he’ll be part of a shrine for the next few months, then burned in effigy when you look too long at that person whose locker is beside yours.
After you move on from high-school and you’re in a more serious relationship or newly married you have to step out of CVS and step up your game for Valentine’s Day. Flowers. Candy. Jewelry. If you’re a lady….well, we all know what’s expected of us today. 2000 year old bloody, headless martyrs are known for their aphrodisiac qualities don’t ya know.
Once you’ve been married enough years you’ve either both gotten over this forced celebration of love or one of the two of you is still clinging on and the other gets an ulcer trying to live up to your expectations starting mid January, God help him if he ultimately fails and brings home silk roses and a stuffed monkey proclaiming he’s “Wild About You!” Don’t think you’re in the clear just yet, even if you’ve both realized this V-day thing is a scam…your kids kindergarten class has not. The industrious, caring Mom gets to sit up for hours carefully assembling little paper hearts, with lollipops and witty greetings, cutting, pasting, hole-punching, writing the names Madison, Ava and Aidan over and over again. The “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” mom with better things to do gets the kid a pack of Madballs cards at the drugstore to hand out (says the scarred little girl who had to hand out Madball cards when everything else at the drugstore was sold out in 1988). Then there’s the mom who knows these things are destined for the garbage anyway and let’s her kid have at it, “Here’s some paper, here’s some stickers and glue…go to town” (me).
I wonder if good ole Val, Pat and Nick have a support group going up there. “They drink in excess and celebrate an Irish stereo-type!” says Pat. “They sell lingerie because of me…lingerie!!!” crys Valentine covering his eyes. “I was never that fat!” puffs Nicholas. Then in walks Jesus, “Two words guys: Easter. Bunny.”