(This is a repost from a repost from last year and the year before that, slightly revised - but it's timely every year. I only hope I don't get a can of pork & beans as a gift this year.)
Once upon a time in the land of pagan lore, every year on February 13th the men would take large clubs and perform fertility rituals. They would beat the ground to please the pagan gods (although I'm not sure why a bunch of men clubbing the dirt pleased the pagan gods, but pagan gods generally have some kind of twisted demands, don't they?), in hopes of being rewarded with a bountiful crop. Yay, bountiful crops rock.
They would then turn on their women and beat the tar out of them (not sure if they used the same clubs, but whatever), for the same purpose - in hopes of pleasing some lunatic god into rewarding them with large families. Yay, big families!
On February 14th, in a lame attempt to get back into the good graces of the bloody stump formerly know as "the wife", they'd bring her gifts and delicacies and probably some other junk that no one cares about, like a case of pork and beans, a ratchet set and/or the head of a one eyed goat. Apparently she'd be totally okay with the fact that he beat the snot out of her the day before (after all, she worshipped the same twisted, sadistic gods he did) and she'd receive the goodies and all would be peachy keen in pagan land. Yay, happy endings!
Thus... your history of Valentine's Day, more accurately known as
HAPPY BEAT YOUR WIFE WITH A STICK, DAY
I'm just waiting for tomorrow when all the boxed chocolates go on sale for a whopping 75% off. I LOVE February 15th.