It was a year ago that I volunteered to be the Independent’s honorary Cupid and write the Valentine’s Day missive.
At the time, I set forth my bona fides, including the fact that Feb. 14 is both my birthday and my anniversary. Yes friends, this little cherub popped out on Valentine’s Day in 1943 which, if you do the math, was in the previous century. On the anniversary front, it’s 39 and counting. Then of course there was that toga party my fraternity put on back in 1964. People are still talking about it fifty years later, which is how legends are born.
Cynics out there will claim I only get to wield Cupid’s love bow because, after all these years, I have evolved to resemble the pudgy little archer. That is woefully unfair, as are reports that I was the original model for the Pillsbury Doughboy. I did work at Pillsbury from 1969-1979, but I was in much better shape back then.
Scott Peotter, the Indy’s conservative voice, takes umbrage over the fact that a liberal would claim to be the paper’s love spokesman. I have tried to point out to him that liberals deserve to carry the burden because we are more compassionate and, as a rule, we are more fun loving than the loyal opposition. His curmudgeonly response is “Yeah, because you do it with other peoples’ money.”
Jean Ardell, the Indy’s distaff liberal, argues that men don’t understand romance, and a woman could do a much better job playing Cupid. I’d probably lose if I tried to counter the men and romance argument head on, so, with Jean, I took a more oblique approach. I pointed out that artists have always depicted Cupid with undeniably masculine equipment, which makes women ineligible to apply for the job. Her response was to label all Renaissance artists male chauvinists who are 500 years behind the times.
Cindy Trane Christeson who writes our On Faith column, felt there should be a religious consideration in the selection of someone to represent the Indy on matters of love and romance. I deftly countered that Cupid has strong origins in pagan traditions right up there with Bacchus, Dionysus, and Pan, not to mention Satyrs, Maenads, and Wood Nymphs.
Here I’ve spent the entire time fending off challengers and have no room left to tell you what I’d actually do as Indy Cupid for 2014. Well, I guess you can always go to the website archives and check out last year’s column where I told men how to get lucky on Valentine’s Day (Heads Up From Cupid, 2/10/13).
Other than that, you’re on your own.