Listen to that song playing on the radio. What’s it about? Pick out a book on the shelf. What’s it about? That movie you’re watching. What’s it about. Pick up that newspaper. What’s the story about? Chances are they are about love. Okay, maybe not the newspaper story. It’s probably about death and destruction, but no matter. Because it’s fitting that the story of Valentine’s Day is also the story of, like all great stories, love and death. And it goes:
In Rome in A.D. 270, Valentine enraged the mad emperor Claudius II, who had issued an edict forbidding marriage. Claudius felt that married men made poor soldiers, because they were loath to leave their families for battle. The empire needed soldiers, Claudius, never one to fear unpopularity, abolished marriage.
Valentine, bishop of Interamna, invited young lovers come to him in secret, where he joined them in marriage. Claudius learned of this “friend of lovers,” and had the bishop brought to the palace. The emperor, impressed with the young priest’s dignity and conviction, attempted to convert him to the Roman Gods to save him from otherwise certain execution. Valentine refused to renounce Christianity and imprudently attempted to convert the emperor. On February 24, 270, Valentine was clubbed, stoned, then beheaded.
While Valentine was in prison awaiting execution, he fell in love with the blind daughter of the jailer, Asterius. Through his unswerving faith, he miraculously restored her sight. He signed a farewell message to her “From Your Valentine,” a phrase that would live on long after he died.
Isn’t that, like, just the most frightfully romantic story you’ve ever, like, heard? Like, that moment when, like, Valentine writes his farewell message? I swear it made us weep and we lost the ability to write? So, we decided (sniffle) to let you do the work and this is what you came up with. I swear you just made us weep again. You called it:
My Dream Valentine’s Day (names have been abbreviated to protect the guilty)
N: “To be whisked away to Paris, the city of romance, where I would have a room in a fabulous hotel! That special someone would have rose petals scattered across the floor and all over the bed, with a bottle of champagne chilling on the side.”
RS: “To spend the weekend in the ice hotel in Sweden wearing only fur robes!”
RL: “To have a date and go out to dinner.”
W: “My woman would surprise ME for a change – something I would never have conceived of!”
S: “To go on a date with the lead singer from Savage Garden and he would sing to me on Valentine’s Day!”
L: “I want to be in Mexico sipping margaritas by the ocean, but alas, I have no money, no plane ticket, and no lover!”
AM: “To be surprised with a homemade gourmet meal.”
E: “A weekend at the spa, without the kids… I love them dearly, but this is a dream, right?!”
CB: “I’m with E!”
AG: “Going out to a restaurant for a change instead of the usual Kraft dinner with hamburger in front of the TV.”
D:”To be taken to a surprise destination somewhere very south, and spend a romantic few days on the beach with my man!”
R:”To be my look alike, John Travolta, and make passionate love to Olivia Newton John.”
K: “I guess it would have to involve a woman. To spend time with a woman who adores me…”
B: “To be involved in a romantic threesome with Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman.”
X: “Makin’ sweet loooove with a crack ho at the bus station porcelain convenience.”
ES: “An evening in Paris.”
RD: “There’s a lot of people listening right here. I’d like Valentine’s day to be the same day as when Sports Fishing Season opens so I could go fishing with my girlfriend.”
ESC: “Proposing to someone in a restaurant, getting everyone’s attention, using them as witnesses and getting a loud cheer. Because I love applause.” (What about on your wedding night? Ed.)
S: “In a tub of chocolate with someone (laughs). Good question. Be alone, I guess, with my two friends. Left and Right.”
DG: “A nice evening at home, lying on a King sized waterbed in our housecoats, sipping wine, watching a feel good movie while she massages me the whole time.”
M: Naked in a hot tub full of whipped cream with Patricia Arquette wearing her costume from True Romance…a bottle of single malt scotch. If she’s bored she can bring Cameron Diaz with her. Oh, and naked serving girls.
N: “A surprise phone call at 11:59, February 13, from someone asking if she can come over.”