And so the sun shines on another St. Valentine’s Day—as well as “Valentimes,” which as far as I can tell is a parallel holiday observed by supermodels and the illiterate. Henceforth, forthwith, and thusly, I offer some links to help you make the most of this rosy-fingered day.
First, educate thyself: read up on the story of St. Valentine from the Legenda Aurea, watch an earnest mini-documentary on the saint, and check out this weirdly South-Park-like hagiographic cartoon. (You will respect the Emperor Claudius’s authori-tay.)
When in Rome, stop by Santa Prassede to see (or, if you’re so inclined, venerate) the relics of St. Valentine—or, for a limited time, buy a third-class relic of the saint on EBay. (Dubliners take note: thanks to the Carmelites, you also have access to relics of St. Valentine at Whitefriar Street Church.)
Speaking of the Urbs Æterna: these days, Roman lovers attach locks to the Milvian Bridge and then fling the keys in the Tiber. (Imagine how history might have turned out if Constantine and Maxentius had settled their differences thus.) If you can’t get to Rome, never fear: just visit the Ponte Milvio in Second Life.
Finally, if the roses wilt, the chocolate is rancid, or the restaurant turns you away and even St. Valentine fails to intercede, remember that American pop music always has the answers. What do women want? Endicott. What do men want? Caldonia!