John Lennon wasn’t perfect (cough, ahem, Yoko, cough) but he was right about one thing – all you need is love.
No matter where you fall on the dating spectrum, Valentine’s Day brings anxiety and agida. (That’s indigestion for all you non Italian-Americans)
If you’re in a committed relationship there are expectations to meet, which can feel even more daunting if you’re in a newly committed relationship.
If you’re single there is a certain exclusion, you don’t really get to participate even if you want to. (Or do you???)
I’ve never had your stereotypical Hollywood Valentine’s Day.
The one and only time I’ve been in a committed relationship for the Holiday of Love I received a coffee thermos as a gift.
Practical? Yes. Romantic? Not at all.
What’s Valentine’s Day really about if you take away all the Hallmark commercialization?
February 14th was officially declared Valentine’s Day in the 5th century by Pope Gelasius, although written Valentines were not exchanged until the 1400’s.
During the Middle Ages, in France and England, it was commonly believed to mark the start of birds’ mating season.
Supposedly, Valentine’s Day celebrates any one of three saints called Valentine, all of whom were martyred, one of whom happened to die on February 14th.
Some say it’s a Christianized version of the pagan celebration of Lupercalia.
Celebrated at the ides of February, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture.
To begin the festival, priests would sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. (I guess dogs really are clean animals!)
The goat’s hide was then cut into strips, dipped in the sacrificial blood, and taken to the streets, where women awaited and welcomed slaps on the face with the blood soaked goat hide.
This was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year.
After this loving ritual, all the young women of Rome would place their names in a giant urn.
The city’s bachelors would then each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman.
Just think about that the next time you lament your relationship status during the month of February!
I don’t know about you, but, I’d rather be a little lonely than slapped in the face with a blood soaked hide and randomly paired off with some neighbor for the next year.
So no matter where you fall on the relationship spectrum…
Happy Valentine’s Day!!