Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Erev Valentine's Day

Is Valentine's Day just a cheesy put-on?

Apparently, yes.

Because it turns out that Valentine's Day, or VD as the skeptics (read tragically single) have been known to call it, was more or less invented by Geoffrey Chaucer. In the Parlement of Foules, a poem that you probably haven't read, unless you happen to be Geoffrey Chaucer's doting mother, appear the lines:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese
his make.

Chese his make? What the rennet in milkfat is going on here?
You always thought Valentine's Day was a Hallmark invention. Turns out, it's a Tillamook invention.

Oh Geoffrey, you shouldn't have!
You are such a romantic devil.
You know how Triscuits drive me wild.
Next up: the Wife of Bubble Bath's

When I was growing up, Valentine's Day was on the list of holidays we didn't observe because we were Jewish. Christmas and Easter, those were obvious. Valentine's Day, you get a little suspicious . . . it's not like the Pope ran the local florist or even tithed every sale of the Whitman sampler. Boycotting Valentine's Day, wasn't that just my dad being cheap and unromantic, under the guise of some super-Semitic stance?

As if that weren't bad enough, my father also insisted Halloween was a goyishe holiday, and therefore not for us. Not when I was really little, but at some point when I was in about sixth grade, the perfect age for Halloween - young enough to trick-or-eat but old enough to shaving cream and TP somebody's house - he decided we couldn't celebrate it anymore.

Clearly this wasn't about being a super Jew or even just being cheap (not that the two are mutually exclusive, by any stretch of the dollar - I mean the imagination). Banning Halloween? This was a full out war on fun. It was like the Taliban outlawing bite-size Snickers.

The ostensible reason for cordoning us off from all things was Christian was so that we wouldn't make ass-imilationists of ourselves. That is, so we wouldn't grow up and marry goyim.

As ridiculous as it sounds, it worked. I haven't married a goy. I've just been living with one for eighteen years (which, Jew that I am, I think is especially lucky, 18 being the lucky number 7 of we desert-wandering, sour cream-loving tribes).

But I do celebrate Halloween. This year I came up with the scariest Halloween costume ever. It's great because it works as a group costume, any number from 1 to 1 million can wear it.

Meet Cathy with a C, Kathy with a K, and Kathi with an i,
the Girls from HR!

Did you know that the Goodwill has an entire aisle of Christmas sweaters? Did you know that my house has an entire closet shelf of cheap blond wigs? Did you know that Kathi with an i was breaking her diet with that big ol' carbaholic beer?

Well now you do.

So if I can make Halloween as Christ-ian as Christ-mas, what can I possibly do to Valentine's day?

Can you say crucifix-shaped cheddar pasties?

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!! I thought I had a corner on the market for creative Halloween costumes ... and I'm certain I hold the record "Best Wig Collection" in Philadelphia. You, macaroni woman, are a riot!! ... Barbra Peapod