“Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents! Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely.” – Hawkeye, M*A*S*H

Yea, verily, the Dread Day of Valentine doth approach. Is it that fat bloody cherub again? A toddler with a lethal weapon? Can’t I rewrite the day, get a Valkyrie instead? A woman, not an infant; passion, not teat-suckling; power, not passivity?

Hell, this ain’t really Valentine cynicism: it’s despair at the commerce-led ickyness. Where’s the lovely original idea gone?… It’s also some personal confusion hid by a thin veil of wistfulness. Oh, you saw that, did you? Hmm.

Ok – the wistfulness. Those school-to-college days when a card from an unknown declared his secret admiration for You. There was someone Out There watching, thinking, dreaming about You; bits of you that you thought were so ordinary, like your doodling or twitchy nose or grasp of an argument (and all without his hand in his pants, because it hasn’t even occurred to you – ooo, stop, stop! my sides are aching).

And of course, it usually wasn’t the Who (because let’s face it, he was probably a sweet guy you’d never kiss), it was the How. Therein lay the potential: the thrill of the day, of feeling adored, the object of another’s heart. A heart with romance and depth (no, no, not an adolescent willy, Mother Thumb and her four daughters). That’s what it’s about – surely? ….No, it’s no place to return to, is it?

So why the Dread? Why I feel that the day is the celebratory equivalent of being locked in a prison cell of a teenage fat girl’s bedroom stuffed with Big Brother, Paris Hilton, Clinton Cards, Care Bears and any other snobby lowest-common-denominator thing I can think of, to the soundtrack of The Spice Girls and Robbie Williams’ Angels on a loop? Two reasons: vomit-inducing pink cutsey schamaltz and Duty. Think you get the schmaltz thing by now. The Duty? Who wants the Crappy Card, the Obligation Orchids, the Really-I-Wanted-To-Fork-Out-£80 Roses?

Let’s get the pagan view. In Pagan Rome, right up to the fifth century, 13-15th Feb was Lupercalia. A Huzzah and Hooray for the wolf who suckled Rome’s mythical founders, Romulus & Remus. They drank and danced and laughed and played in Rome’s seven hills. Probably shagged, too. Outside. Smashing. And today? Hmm. Bit weedy by comparison – unspontaneous, laden with psychobabble (“what does it mean if he gave me a card with [insert random crap] on it?”].

The Imp’s theory is this: everyone wants to be loved. Lots. But only if….aye, there’s the rub. It’s gotta be someone great, sexy, wonderful – admirable. They shouldn’t smother, but they should adore. They shouldn’t cling, but they should desire. They shouldn’t irritate but must intrigue. And we want our love objects to feel the same way about us. And this is how Cupid lays his bear-trap (sod that ole bow’n’arra routine: this is a snare fit for a Grizzly). fatcupid.jpg
You’ve gotta Do Something. Doing Nothing is even a Something. You’re gonna be Interpreted….But, so what? We are every day. Why fuss about it? Why not just show how you feel? Lust, love, laugh, poke, pant – show it!

Money where mouth is? The Imp will be a Valkyrie – indeed, that Valkyrie above, who looks like Ölrún, knower of the spells of ale….

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