Happy Horny Werewolf Day

Look, I get it.  Next to Friday the 13th, which we missed by one day this month, no day on the calendar causes as much unnecessary stress as today — Valentine’s Day.  Much like being a Jew on Christmas, nobody is quite sure what the right way to act on this day is, especially if you’re single and not “seeing” someone.  The idea that Valentine’s Day is the celebration of a Catholic saint’s martyrdom for secretly marrying Christians in the Roman empire is a myth (like most of Catholic hagiography) – an invention of a 5th century work called Passio Marii et Marthae that sexed up the persecution and death of one of several people named Valentine by attributing his tortures to martyrdom ‘cuz he just couldn’t quit Jesus (and because Valentine cured Asterius’ blind daughter causing his whole household to convert to Christianity which really pissed-off Emperor Claudius II who retaliated by having him beheaded like Trump firing Lt. Col. Vindman, because that is what despotic autocrats do). There are no actual records of St. Valentine of Rome, nor was his feast day ever in February.  The celebration of Valentine’s Day is another example of the Catholic Church marketing conversions by coopting local pagan festivals — in this case, a fertility rite that involved werewolves, fucking, flogging virgins, and coating everything with goat’s blood.  I think I went to that party back in the 90’s when I lived in the Swish Alps (Silverlake, California).  Good times!

knife on a date

After all, what better way to celebrate the supposed martyrdom of a Catholic saint than with dead foliage, fat winged babies armed with lethal weapons, and enough chocolate to send anyone into a diabetic coma?  Never mind the fact that we have no idea exactly who this feast day was supposed to honor and all associations between St. Valentine and romantic love are, in fact, completely made up.  The earliest connection of love to the feast day of St. Valentine was a poem by Chaucer composed to mark the wedding anniversary of Richard II — on a day that was celebrated in May, not February.  Then the French got ahold of the idea and turned it into a giant poetry contest about unrequited love (of the kind that says “isn’t it great to be all mopey about the fact that the one I love is already with someone?”) and like most things French it made the rest of us feel like losers for not realizing how le great it is to be in le love.  This from the country that gave us snails as an appetizer.  Snails!

The Japanese — who can’t really blame it on some made-up Christian martyr — have really deconstructed Valentine’s day into its practical essentials, efficient buggers that they are:  women buy chocolate for men in exchange for even more expensive reciprocal gifts a month later on what is known as White Day in this heteronormative sugar extravaganza; they even include a social ranking system:  there’s the expensive chocolates for the people you actually “love” (or want to have sex with) and the cheap stuff – called giri-choko  (“obligatory chocolate”) — you give to friends and co-workers, and your cousin.  Because nothing makes a person feel better than something that turns “I’m only doing this because our culture says I have to” into an actual display of your utter contempt for them.

In the West, Valentine’s Day has become a culturally accepted way to keep score in the “Who’s Winning The Relationship Sweepstakes,” with the hope that we can buy our way into somebody’s pants with cheap chocolate and half-dead shrubbery.  And the effort you go to and the amount you spend has a direct correlation to your evening’s outcome; I remember the time my ex said to me, “Gas station roses and a Whitman’s Sampler does NOT mean you get to be the top tonight Matt.”

The more commercial the holiday has become, the more the stakes have been raised.  It’s not enough to buy a card, you have to buy flowers, and not just any flowers — you have to buy a dozen roses, at least, preferably red.  In the late 80’s, the decade that defined conspicuous consumption and bad hairstyles, the diamond industry started a concerted campaign to instill the belief that jewelry is the proper gift for Valentine’s day.  Why?  To sell more diamonds.

You know what Valentine’s Day really is?  It’s a Roman feast day usurped by the Christians (just like Saturnalia got turned into Christmas).  Lupercalia celebrated the wolf that nursed Rome’s founder Romulus.  The feast culminates on February 14th with the sacrifice of two goats and a dog by “wolves” (priests dressed in animal skins) who would then anoint themselves with the resulting sacrificial blood and run around the city beating women with whips fashioned out of leather, supposedly to ease the pain of childbirth.  This eventually became “wolves” (young men) running butt-ass naked around the city covered in goat’s blood and slapping at women with bits of leather, followed by tons of orgiastic sex.  Sign me up for that one!  Ah, Rome.  The eternal city!

So forget Valentine’s Day.  Happy Horny Werewolf Day everyone.

Copyright © 2021 matthewwilkinson.net — all rights reserved.