Let’s do this together.
Kick off your shoes and carefully draw a heart in the sand.
Make sure not to scrape the thing so that it looks all sloppy, and add that lovely arrow through the heart.
Now, finally, you can add the initials of you and your sweetie inside the heart.
The challenge is finding space for that all-important “plus” sign that binds you forever — or at least until high tide.
So we’re done, and...
Happy Valentine’s Day!
ACTUALLY, we have two very different missions today.
First, we’re going to learn the most likely origin of this unique, kissy-face holiday; and then, we want you to tell us about your most memorable Valentine’s Day.
All of the various ways to submit material are included at the very bottom of this column. So let’s hear from you.
If your story involves an ex-partner (I actually got married, with ultimately disastrous results, on a doomed Feb. 14), go ahead and think of a second choice that involves the current love of your life.
That’s a far better strategy than mooning helplessly over someone who dumped you for an attractive hitchhiker. It might also make the bedroom a little less chilly tonight.
Right, and now for the history of Valentine’s Day.
I was going to paraphrase this story, but Arnie Seipel’s version for National Public Radio is so good — and utterly bizarre — that I’m simply going to let him tell it.
You’re on, Arnie...
“From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.
“The Roman romantics ‘were drunk. They were naked,’ says Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado. Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They believed this would make them fertile.
“The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D.
“Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.”
NOW THAT’S a really romantic slice of history, isn’t it?
Fine, then try to forget the drunkenness, the whippings and certainly the executions — because it’s time to share your own best tale of Valentine’s Day.
Hint: Doing this part of the exercise properly can put you in good graces for months.
We’re going to ignore the hideous way our Valentine’s Day began and soak up all of your warmer modern-day vibes.
By the way, Brits have a word that perfectly captures the mood, and it’s a shame we can’t quite match it in American English.
In fact, it’s even difficult to translate “snogging,” which on this side of the Atlantic might be a combination of hugging, cuddling on a sofa and making out.
Or all of the above, with extras optional.
Now there’s the thought we hope you’ll dream about as you share your own special memory of Valentine’s Day.
C’mon and snog in public...
• • •
Steve Cameron is a columnist for The Press.