My Annual Valentine’s Day Rant

Today is Valentine’s Day and aren’t our little, romantic hearts all aflutter?

Not mine.

I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Call me unromantic, jaded, or cynical, but to me, Valentine’s Day is a totally bogus “holiday.” That’s why a column by syndicated columnist Tom Purcell that I read a while back still resonates with me.

Purcell wrote that on Valentine’s Day, women “dream of romance, surprise, and having sweet nothings whispered into their ears — and if such things happen, they hope their husbands don’t find out!”

But for men, Purcell said, “Valentine’s Day is a contrived undertaking that makes mandatory the things — flowers, dining out, expensive jewelry — that should be reserved for the times when we do something really stupid and are desperate to make up.” I hear you, Mr. Purcell!

I started to wonder what’s really behind this so-called holiday, so I Googled “Valentine’s Day.” It turns out that Valentine’s Day was originally observed to honor early Christian martyrs. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine, all of whom were martyred. Interestingly, no romantic elements are present in the original, early medieval records of these martyrs.

Some historians believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Saint Valentine’s death. Hmm. Did all three saints named Valentine die in the middle of February? Did it happen in Chicago and was Al Capone invovled?

But others claim that the Catholic Church may have decided to place the Saint Valentine’s feast in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, which was celebrated around the middle of February.

Lupercalia was a festival in honor of Lupa, the she-wolf who suckled the infant orphans, Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. Lupercalia translates to “Wolf Festival.” During the festival, Roman priests would sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. They would then cut the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood, and take to the streets where they would gently slap women with the goat hide strips.

Oh wow, it doesn’t get any more romantic than that, does it?Send a Hallmark Card DayHaving educated myself on its origin stories, I am more convinced than ever that Valentine’s Day is the epitome of the expression “Hallmark holiday,” a phrase used to describe a holiday that exists solely for commercial purposes.

Valentine’s Day as a romantic holiday was actually concocted during an intense, closed-door brainstorming session at the corporate headquarters of Hallmark Cards, Inc. The Hallmark executives were trying to figure out how to sell more cards during the lull between the Christmas and Easter holidays. One exec suggested creating a romantic holiday celebrating a Roman she-wolf and some martyred saints. “Yeah, that’s the ticket!” all the other execs shouted out.

That, my friends, is the true story about how the Valentine’s Day holiday in America came into being. (And, as Mark Twain said, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”)

Anyway, I hope you all have a happy Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, mine probably won’t be very happy. When my wife reads this post, there is no doubt that, as Tom Purcell warned, I will have done something really stupid and will be desperate to make up.

Damn you Hallmark Cards, Inc. and your stupid Hallmark holiday.

Reblog: Adverbs Galore [SOCS]

Now this is a brilliant post if ever there was one!

Light Motifs II

Quietly the members of the secret society entered the deserted building after hours and softly closed the door.

“This is insanely ridiculous,” Fandango said grumpily. “By the way, I brought those cookies everyone likes.”

“Thanks!” Teresa replied cheerfully. “But that’s what we get for electing a crazy English professor for President, who probably didn’t even read as many books as I did.”

“Let’s be fair,” Sadje said moderately. “We didn’t know she’d act so extremely cuckoo once she took office. I can’t eat cookies, so I brought keto-friendly egg salad.”

Happily munching a cookie, Jim said, “I could easily recommend a playlist to our new President, which might get her in a better mood and less likely to randomly order people killed for misusing grammar.”

“I’m a grammar pendant myself,” Fandango boldly admitted. “But even I say that executing people for a misplaced apostrophe is wildly inappropriate.”

View original post 148 more words

Friday Follies — The Trump Sandwich

Jase, over at Proscenium, has this fun thing he calls Friday Follies where, each week he asks us to post “any kind of sign, flyer, ad, etc. that you may see posted or printed or whatever/wherever, that would, might, or might not, intentionally or unintentionally, be a mistake or could be interpreted the wrong way, misspelled, be a double entendre, or just outright hilarious.”

The last time I entered the Friday Follies at the end of December, I went a little political. This time, I’m going even more political with this amusing little sandwich board.d1615f23-5301-4ee3-b395-302d343bd6edOh snap!

It’s No Mystery

85455f45-d480-41d2-a737-5f46a6dae1c7…why Sadje, at Keep It Alive, keeps being nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award. But what is a mystery, to me, anyway, is that she included my blog as one of those she “gifted” with this award. Thank you Sadje.

Sadje asked a series of questions and the least I can do is answer them. Here goes.

If you could choose one super power, what would it be and why?

The ability to see myself as others see me, since my perception of myself is skewed by decades of self-deception.

What stimulates your brain to produce its best, a beverage, a muse or anything else?

Coffee wakes me up, beer drunks me up, pot dumbs me up. Love lifts me up.

If you are alone in the house and a door slams upstairs with sound of running feet, what are you going to do?

I’d wake up my dog and tell her to “go sic ‘em.”34919EC7-722C-466B-A1BB-478D8939A310.jpeg

Seeing your image in the mirror, what is the predominant thought?

Who’s that old fart staring at me?

What sort of movie you have to go and see, even if the ticket is $100? And there will be no Netflix or DVD release!

There is no movie in the world that I would pay $100 to go see.

Is climate change theory real or a conspiracy to save the earth?

Climate change is NOT a conspiracy theory. It’s real and the only way we’re going to save the planet is if we stop denying it and take action to do something about it!


Rory, A Guy Called Bloke, also was gifted with multiple Mystery Blogger Awards and he, too, asked a series of questions. And while my blog was not one he “gifted,” I’m going to answer his questions anyway.

What is something that is really popular now, but in 5 years everyone will look back on and be embarrassed by?

Those stupid selfies that people take where they add animal ears, noses, mouths, and other stupid “accoutrements” to their visages and think it’s cute or something and post those pictures on Snapchat or Instagram. In five years they’ll see those stupid selfies and wonder “What the fuck was I thinking?”9688DDB3-D97B-4901-ABB6-10FBAB2A8553.png

What used to be considered trashy but now is very classy?

Ripped jeans for some reason that I’m unable to fathom.7dd686cb-a1ca-4087-b71a-bd2360bc7ca1

Are you a rule breaker or bender?

I bend it like Beckham.

Which body part do you wish you could detach and why?

I do not wish to detach any body part. Why would I want to do that?

Toilet paper, over or under the holder?

Over is the only civilized way. And for crissake, please don’t squeeze the Charmin!825058d2-95fe-402f-9c10-c00bb8d628d0

No Way or So Way

4b37296c-ceaf-4c78-aaac-a83bb116c500Earlier this week, Rory, A Guy Called Bloke, introduced a game he first saw on “The Ellen Show” called “Never Have I Ever. I responded to his game with THIS post. Now he’s decided to do it again, but as he is wont to do, he’s changing it up again.

This time, instead of responding to his statements with either “I have” or “I have never,” he wants us to respond with either “Oh so way” or “Oh no way.”

Alrighty then. Here goes.

Injured myself while trying to impress someone.

Oh so way. Back in 1994, my family and I were on a camping vacation at Mount Rushmore. My son (he was 12 at the time) and I were shooting hoops at the campsite’s basketball court when two college girls came up and challenged us to a game of 2 on 2. My son threw a pass to me and as I was racing to the hoop for what was going to be an impressive dunk, I tore my Achilles’ tendon and fell down in a heap. The girls were quite impressed.

Pretended to be a raccoon and eaten from the trash can.

Oh no way. Although there may have been a time or two when I accidentally dropped something in the trash that I then fished out, brushed off, and ate.

Taken part in a fashion show.

Oh so way. Back in high school I had a part time job working in the men’s suits department at a local department store. One Saturday the store held a fashion show and I was asked to model men’s suits. That’s it, my one and only experience as a male model.cfa165bd-4c8a-423d-93ee-0015e928cc00

Made money by performing on the street.

Oh no way.

Accidentally broken something in someone’s house, but not told them.

Oh no way.

Walked for more than six hours.

Without stopping? Oh no way.

Stolen from a shop.

Oh so way. In high school I shoplifted a chameleon (lizard) from a pet store…and got caught.

Ridden a horse.

Oh so way. Mostly taking very tame horses on guided trail rides at national parks with my wife and kids.

Jumped out of a perfectly stable aircraft.

Not only oh no way, no fucking way. Are you kidding?

Cut my own hair.

Oh so way. I give myself a buzz cut with my beard/hair trimmer every week.d8a50b9d-034c-4112-8a59-d3dac9c04297

Performed my own dentistry.

Oh no way, unless you count yanking out some of my baby teeth when they were loose.

Fallen in love at first glance.

Oh so way…with the woman who is my wife.

Had a paranormal experience.

Oh no way. I don’t believe in ghosts.