This past weekend (Valentine’s Day to be exact) my wife and I hosted the second annual Werewolf Valentine’s Day. Last year, I came up with the idea of hosting a pot luck party with medieval themed wine and beer, at which we would all play several games of Ultimate Werewolf while horror movie scores played in the background. I wanted to do this mostly because Valentine’s Day is hard. It’s a corporate compulsory love fest that puts social pressure on everyone (not just singles) and I would much rather it meant something I enjoyed and looked forward to rather than something I dread every year. Trust me, there is nothing that simulated murder, lycanthropy and wild accusations can’t make better. I highly suggest you give it a try.
I used to like Valentine’s Day. While attending elementary school we would all make and decorate little mail boxes and give each other themed valentines at the end of the day. Then we would eat cupcakes with red hots on top before leaving school entirely. The best way to end a rough day at school is by observing ancient ritual and sliding into cupcake fueled entropy. My adult life has had very little of this kind of activity. I can’t remember the last time I gave a coworker a piece of cardboard with ALF on it, there are fewer pizza parties than there used to be, and I also don’t recall the last time my day job was interrupted by my boss deciding to show my coworkers and I The Princess Bride because, you know, whatever. This is the kind of stuff we trade when we become adults. We handover blanket forts and pizza parties for the ability to buy alcohol, drive motor vehicles and attend rated “R” films. Not much of a trade if you ask me.
My mother, who was one who recognized the loss of magic regarding such things, continued to buy my sister and I valentines every year even into adulthood. She would give us chocolates and occasionally a stuffed toy, which we would keep out of sentimentality, but secretly not care for. One year she bought me a stuffed wolf in a red suit jacket and tie, who, when you squeezed his paw, would sing Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs “Little Red Riding Hood.” I kept this monstrosity tucked in my closet for years after her death, because getting rid of it would mean that I wasn’t grateful to her. When we moved out of our 3 bedroom apartment for a house the size of a matchbox, I gave it to Goodwill, presumably so that some other son who loved his mother could be simultaneously grateful and disquieted by the animatronic gargoyle. Who would have thought that a stuffed wolf that sings a creepy 1960s song would be the valentine I would remember most.
Regardless, if I can keep this thing going maybe it will catch on making Valentine’s Day more bearable. I’m hoping to do the same for other holidays as well. Maybe later this year some of you will join me for Cupacabra de Mayo.