So where did Valentine's Day come from? Well, it comes from some pretty obscure stuff. Way back around 200 A.D. it had been determined that "married men make bad soldiers". So Emperor Claudius banned marriage and this Saint Valentine dude would marry them off before they got drafted.
Boy have things changed. I remember being married. There were times I'd have gladly sacrificed myself to a volcano if it got me a little peace and quiet. Fight the "hordes"? You betcha! Bring on the pain and suffering, please.
Let's examine this Saint Valentine guy, though, rebel that he was. Was he real? Well, apparently there were many people that got that distinction. The good ole Catholic Church kinda made him up so that they could try to convert more people from paganism. It seems every year another "Saint Valentine" was martyred around the 14th. The Romans would behead the poor dude on the 14th and then have all kinds of fun throwing Christians into lion pits starting the 15th. It was a punishment for turning away from the Roman gods and seeking Christianity. Fun times. "Here's your lacy little heart card now go play with the giant kitty cats."
That was just a fun little part of their festival, Lupercalia. That started on February 15th when the guys would draw names of the lucky lady that'd be their date for the night. There's even speculation that that woman would be the guy's sexual partner for the year.
Who needs hearts, flowers and chocolates when you've got a hat to draw names from? I wonder if there were ever guys that were like "nah. No way. Let me draw again. Have you seen this gargoyle looking girl I got stuck with?!" Or the poor girls that got stuck with the nastiest guy in the realm?
So here I sit, enjoying my Valentine's Day in the most appropriate manner I can think of. I'm watching Full Metal Jacket. It's one of my favorite love stories.