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Cybernaut - Love Hurts

I have been diagnosed with nauseous valentinosis – an acute intestinal disorder that flares up whenever I come into contact with little pink hearts, bouquets of red roses, boxes of chocolate, cupid dolls, teddy bears and February 14 th .

I have been diagnosed with nauseous valentinosis – an acute intestinal disorder that flares up whenever I come into contact with little pink hearts, bouquets of red roses, boxes of chocolate, cupid dolls, teddy bears and February 14 th .

I contracted this disease in Grade 3, when I was forced to hang a box off the side of my desk like the rest of my classmates and sit there while the girls circulated the room dropping cards. Let’s just say I got more Valentines than Charlie Brown and Ralph Wiggum, but less than I felt I deserved. The downward spiral began.

Now I can’t even look at a pink and red cardboard heart with lace frills without reaching for the Gravol. A trip into a card store is like a bout of vertigo, compounded with a dose of claustrophobia.

Although Doctor’s say my condition is primarily pyschosomatic in nature, I am undergoing radical therapy – like an inoculation for the measles, building up a tolerance to Valentines can only be achieved by exposing myself to a faceful of it and hoping my system can cope.

Someone landed this coveted name ahead of the crowd, and they’re milking it for all it’s worth. Although there are links to all the products you could buy your Valentine – like flowers, chocolates and diamond pendants – it’s the features that will turn your stomach. Saying "I love you" in 25 languages. Surprise gift ideas. Surprise romantic getaways so cheesy they’d better work. Most of this stuff seems blatantly obvious, but judging by the soaring divorce rate and all the lonely singles out there, there are a lot of romantically-challenged people who could use a few tried and true ideas and a kick in the pants.

Until schools forever ban the Valentines box from the classroom (call the Ministry of Education at 250-356-2500) there will always be a Charlie Brown, and a few years down the road, a Marilyn Manson. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to make sure that your son or daughter does the honourable thing and gives a Valentine to everyone, regardless of their personal hygiene or social standing. This site is a goldmine of printable cards, e-mail cards, games, software, music, arts and crafts and recipes.

The origins of St. Valentine’s Day are not known for certain, but it has roots in pagan rituals, Christian faith, and the public clubbing, stoning and beheading of a bishop in the third century.

Until the Roman Church came along, in mid-February the Romans celebrated a fertility festival whereby eligible singles were paired by picking names out of a box. These couples would stay together until the next lottery, and then move on.

When the Church took power, they created a February substitute – St. Valentine’s Day, after the bishop who defied an Emperor’s decree forbidding marriage on the grounds that married men made poor soldiers. Before he was executed, Bishop Valentine sent a love letter to his significant other signed "From Your Valentine."

In the fifth century, the Church replaced the drawing of names with a drawing of the names of Saints – you spent the year imitating the life of the Saint you picked. While this new practice did catch on, albeit slowly, the sentiment that Valentine’s was a time for lovers never faded.

The imagery remains pagan – Cupid is the Roman manifestation of Eros, the son of two Greek Gods, Aphrodite (Goddess of Love) and Aries (God of War). Love and war was the result of this union – Cupid and his bow and arrows.

This gave birth to the medieval concept that love was both a blessing and a sin, and a never-ending source of anguish. You can’t eat, you can’t sleep. You brood and write bad poetry. You ask for the damsel’s hand in marriage, and if her father didn’t grant your request, you joined the army or threw yourself off a cliff.

Things were simpler, and much happier it seems, back in pagan times.

There are many different kinds of love, and among them is the love of money and bootleg whisky. I’m referring to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, one of the bloodiest in the annals of organized crime. While this doesn’t have a lot to do with the giving of cards and chocolates, it’s an interesting story from an interesting era in American history.

Whatever your feelings about Valentine’s, it’s one of those things that can really drive your loneliness home – being single in a world of happy couples is about as fun as being picked last for baseball. Half the challenge is initiating the first conversation, and while some guys seem to have the knack of it, the rest of us have to rely on a good opener. Every great relationship begins (in a perfect world), with a great pick-up line.

This is a database of pickups. Some are rude. Some are cheesy. Some are cute, in a cheesy sort of way. All of them, however, are guaranteed to generate some kind of response. Whether it’s a laugh or an extended middle finger is up to Cupid.