Fifty Shades and Potato Stamps

Valentine’s Day is coming up and I was feeling pretty grouchy about it. In the spirit of telling the truth, I told my writing group yesterday “I hate Valentine’s Day.” Confused telling the truth with being a Grinch, I do believe. This morning, though, Forest and I made a plan to stamp hearts onto cards for his classmates and I decided to ride the wave and sweeten this Vday with the innocence of 1st grade.

But then I was looking at the history of Valentine’s Day. There is some good stuff here:

1.     It was originally a spring cleansing festival/ Roman sex party called the Lupercalia, for the city’s wolfy founding myth. Hunky Roman men clad in thongs (I’m picturing a well-oiled Gerard Butler or Ryan Reynolds, but please feel free to fill in Zena Warrior Princess or whatever floats your boat) would dash through the streets whipping strangers who chanted “fa male così bene!” Which, as any historian would tell you, loosely translates to “Oo, baby, that hurts so good!”

2.     But it was named for St. Valentine, who was executed on February 14 for performing illegal marraiges!

Boom, baby! A holiday based on an ancient Fifty Shades of Grey ritual and named after a rebel warrior for marriage equality! I’m in! Okay, Valentine was marrying soldiers illegally, instead of gays and lesbians, but that was the cutting edge of justice back then, letting soliders be humans instead of meat in the war machine. This is very chalice vs blade victory actually, which is another reason to go ahead and give in to a holiday about love, I think. (Fyi Chalice= Life-sustaining culture, Blade=Culture where Power is based on taking life. Read the Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisner, or just stay tuned. More to come on that one of these days.)

And Fifty Shades of Grey the movie comes out on Friday the 13th! Which is a very witchy day. Now, I am not a huge fan of the writing. (Although I try to avoid the snark, I had to laugh when I read Salman Rushdie’s comment that “Fifty Shades of Grey makes Twilight look like War and Peace.”) But I love love love that we are having a big ole open conversation about sex and fetishes and desire instead of shilling one-size fits all monogamy and dutiful romance (which is an oxymoron.) On Valentine’s Day! Which I will not be a Grinch about, but will celebrate with potato stamps and red paint and maybe a trip to the sex toy store to make a spell for (self or any other kind that tickles me) love.  That’s my plan.