On February 14th, 1929, seven men, namely, Adam “Couch Potato” Heyer, Albert “Beer Buddy” Kachellek, John “Deadbeat” May, Reinhardt “Upstream” Schwimmer, Albert “Late Date” Weinschenk, Frank “Mom Loved Me More” Gusenberg, and Peter “No She Didn’t” Gusenberg were “rubbed out” in a Chicago warehouse. Police realized that the killers were the dead men’s wives, sick and tired of getting no recognition on Valentine’s Day. Fearing widespread public panic if this news got out, police did the only thing they could do – they blamed it on Al Capone. Shortly thereafter, Hollywood heartthrob, Rudolph Valentino (once described by an Iowa housewife as “a fine hunk of man”) died mysteriously at the tender age of 31. Fearing a revenge killing by husbands after the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, police publicly blamed Valentino’s death on “glue sniffing”. Clearly, something had to be done to stop the hostility. Congress quickly passed the “Card, Candy, and Cut Flowers Act”, in an effort to better educate men about the dange-, I mean delights, of Valentine’s Day.
As every student of history knows, the phenomenon known as Saint Valentine’s Day was created in third century Italy, around the life of one Bemi Valentino. Young Bemi was known by women far and wide as the “ultimate man.” I’m sure you know the type: the man who stays awake all night with the teething baby and then runs a half marathon before he goes to work, the man who buys his wife flowers on an average spring day “just because”, the man who makes his own pasta for his wife’s anniversary dinner, blah, blah, blah. Well, as you may imagine, the other husbands got tired of hearing “Bemi this” and “Bemi that”, and so, on February 14, 300something-or-other, the husbands, in that famous Italian tradition, “rubbed Bemi out”. They grabbed him, fitted him with rock shoes (no concrete yet) and threw him into the Tiber River. Being the “ultimate man”, Bemi did not drown immediately. He still had enough strength to clean litter off the riverbank, save the life of a fledgling duck, and teach a local child the backstroke before he finally succumbed to exhaustion. The local women were outraged and appealed to the Church for justice. Church leaders promptly proclaimed Bemi Valentino a saint, and announced that February 14th would be called “Saint Valentine’s Day”. As penance forevermore, husbands were required to buy their wives nice gifts every February 14th.
Nearly 2000 years later, the curse of Bemi Valentino continues. You can see it, February 13th and 14th of every year, as husbands wander aimlessly through stores, searching for penance gifts. The cruelest thing about Valentine’s Day is that it comes only 7 weeks after Christmas. Most husbands aren’t the brightest bulbs in the lamp when it comes to gift buying anyway, but chances are that they already exhausted their potential gift list at Christmas. If a wife’s birthday or an anniversary happens to coincide with Valentine’s Day, then a husband is truly doomed. Being an analytical kind of guy, there are several things about Valentine’s Day that just don’t make sense to me, namely:
1. If a wife or girlfriend made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, then aren’t we sabotaging their efforts by giving them Valentine’s candy?
2. Since Valentine’s Day occurs in the dead of winter, you can’t very well plant flowers as a symbol of everlasting love. Instead, your wife or girlfriend must watch your token of love wither and die on the kitchen table. Not exactly the most optimistic of symbols.
3. But the the biggest paradox about Valentine’s Day comes out of the mouths of women themselves. Ask any woman what her most memorable gift or experience centered around, and she will tell you “small, unexpected things”. So, if this is truly the case, then why do husbands do the same, expected thing every Valentine’s Day?
Point #3 was a true revelation to me. Why hadn’t men noticed this before? Finally, a way to end the curse of Bemi Valentino! Follow my logic: Women actually prefer “small, unexpected things”. Valentine’s Day’s is a large, expected thing, or else it would not be written in CAPITAL letters on the calendar. Therefore, it follows logically, that women actually do not prefer Valentine’s Day. Apparently, it would make them a lot happier if us men just ignored Valentine’s Day altogether! No more aimless shopping! No more guilt trips! No more Hallmark and Godiva Chocolate bossing us around and telling us when and how we should be romantic with our wives!
I had found the path to freedom for all men, but now I had to put it to the test…………………..
Coming up……..Part 2, the creation of “Jennifertine Day”. Would it really work?