Valentine’s Day looms on the horizon, like a dark, looming thing.
It seems horribly clich’ed, but I’m not a Valentine’s Day fan. It seems like such a fake, commercial “holiday”. There’s no real “holiday” aspect to it. You don’t relax on the beach, or curl up on the couch with a good book, or hang out with friends. You buy some tacky teddy bear with a heart balloon and hope you’re gonna get laid.
The origins of Valentines Day are lost in the ages. No one even knows if it’s related to Valentine. It’s likely our modern traditions derive from the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia. When the Romans were Christianised, they transformed all their pagan holidays into church-sanctioned parties. In 496 AD the Pope declared Lupercalia the feast of St. Valentine, who had performed secret marriage services during their reign of Claudius II and was executed for this <>. Claudius ruled during a great period of strife and believed marriage made his soldiers weak.
In medieval France and England (thanks Chaucer) St. Valentines Day came to be associated with romance. The church tried to bring the holiday back to sacred pursuits, but it’s popularity as a day for courtship and romance grew. In the Middle Ages, handmade cards and gifts were exchanged between lovers, and this practise moved with the expansion of the empire until it reached the Americas, where the first commercial Valentines cards were printed in the 1840s.
I think, as always, the church takes these things far too seriously, and Valentines Day, if you choose to celebrate it, should be a day of fun and frivolity. But there’s so much pressure now: “how many Valentines did you get?” “What did YOUR husband do?”, “Don’t worry, I’m sure SOMEONE will give you a Valentine” that Valentines Day just isn’t any fun. And more and more people boycott this holiday, including us.
CDH said once “I’m not participating in a gift grab designed to make insecure women feel special. My job is to make you feel special every day of the year.” And it’s true, and I agree with him, and he does.
But not everyone agrees with me and I don’t see the harm in a retail-mandated excuse to indulge your beloved. As a lady easily swayed by romantic notions (although my idea of romance differs considerably from that of the “average” female) I offer some tips to my male readers on romantic gestures for your metalhead missus, for Valentines Day, or any day.
1. Instead of buying her sexy lingerie, find her a limited-edition Pestilence vinyl.
2. Instead of saying “I love you,” throw her the goat. (bonus points if it’s a real goat).
3. Forgo sappy flowers. She’d much prefer a deadly nightshade plant.
4. Instead of a heart-shaped necklace, present her with a Thor’s Hammer on a leather thong.
5. Instead of buying her heart-shaped chocolates, cook her steak, eggs and chips.
6. Instead of taking her out to dinner and a movie, rent a bunch of cheesy b-grade horror films and pop a giant tub of popcorn.
7. Instead of serenading her at her window, let her choose the songs in the car stereo.
8. Instead of scattering rose petals around the house, paint the walls with inverted crosses and pentegrams.
9. Instead of ringing the local radio station to dedicate a cheesy ballad to her, dedicate a song to her at your next gig. Bonus points if it’s Manowar’s “Pleasure Slave”.
10. Instead of a romantic picnic beside a babbling steam, go see a Deicide concert.
Do you have any more ideas for metal alternatives to valentines traditions?