Wine? Seduction? Bare-bottomed cherubs shooting arrows at potential lovers? What the hell is Valentine’s Day supposed to be about? As usual, I turned to the Internet for a hasty and incomplete answer.

Witchology.com, the official website of the Witchcraft Information Centre & Archive, eschews our modern notions of pink hearts and fancy chocolates and delves into Valentine’s Day’s roots in the pagan feast of Lupercalia, which honored the she-wolf who nursed the twins who founded Rome. Young men drew the names of young women from clay jars, and the resulting couples had to hang out, as it were, for the duration of the three-day fertility fest.
“The Lupercalia proper began on the 15th of February with animal sacrifice and ritual flagellation,” writes WICA’s founder, Dr. Leo Ruickbie. “After slaughtering a goat and dog in the sacred grotto of the she-wolf, the young men would run through the streets whipping women and crops with the flayed hide of the goat to promote fertility.”

University of Colorado at Boulder historian Noel Lenski notes that these shenanigans were performed drunk and in the nude. “Young women would line up for the men to hit them,” he told National Public Radio. “They believed this would make them fertile.”

Hit me with a dead goat, big boy: Not something you’ll ever see on Sweethearts Conversation candies.
But is it the wackiest image your 21st-century grey matter can conjure? It shouldn’t be. Not in the face of emerging evidence that thousands—if not millions or even billions—of women plan to run through the streets to the nearest sacred grotto of Hollywood debauchery to spend Valentine’s Day night watching a gazillionaire spank his cherubic girlfriend’s bare fanny.
An Associated Press article by Leanne Italie opens with an anecdote about a 22-year-old Maryland woman who plans to ditch her boyfriend to watch Fifty Shades of Grey with her BFFs, then hook up with him afterward.
Oh, and February 14 is his birthday.

Italie reports that some hubbies and SOs will be dragged by their short hairs into theaters, but chances are those guys will get something in return later.

“My husband is not into Fifty Shades,” a Cleveland woman told Italie. “He’ll be surprised by the intensity and high level of intimacy in the film. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’m sure a lot of women are using this opportunity for date night and turning up the heat in the bedroom.”

On the other hand, on the same day, a movie called Old Fashioned, about how chivalry and healing ensue when “a small businessman meets a sweet Midwestern girl with a cat,” makes its debut. The trailer says Old Fashioned is “based on the bestselling book Fifty Shades of Grey…NOT!”

So, there’s still plenty of debate about what Valentine’s Day is all about, and the extremes seem to be “men with handcuffs” and “women with cats.” If you ask me, red flags abound in both descriptions. Because hearing that a woman has cats makes me want to get naked and whack strangers with the skin of a freshly slaughtered goat.

But that’s just my allergies talking.

I have some ideas about Valentine’s Day for my household this year. There will likely be chocolates and champagne and a beloved movie or a few episodes of Rehab Addict. No whips. No cats. No dead goats or ritual floggings. If you’re into any of that, fine. Because, really who cares where Valentine’s Day came from or what any society thinks it should be about? No one has to agree, except two people who plan on spending it with each other.

The Fast Lane romancesPalm Springs Heat, Malibu Bride and San Fernando Dreamsblend modern and old-fashioned. Click on the covers to learn more about the individual books or the e-book only Special Edition Box Set. For a quick Valentine’s Day smile, check here to see the Fast Lane Romance live-action trailer!


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