For a drawn out 60 seconds we stood there just staring at each and laughing out of fear. The pressure set in. We knew we had about 30 seconds to make this happen before the guys started booing, leaving us up there, and moving onto something more exciting. Drunken frat guys have the attention span of newborn puppies. I felt panicked. My fantasies about kissing a girl usually took place during a calm game of spin the bottle or truth of dare in a dim lit basement. In my fantasy I was already a little buzzed. The buzz was what gave me permission to indulge. I had never felt more sober. My armpits were sweating, and I could feel my pulse pushing out of my throat. Meredith looked at me, now also panicked. Then without warning she leaned in and kissed me. It happened all at once and in total slow motion. I felt her tongue. I couldn't believe how soft her lips felt. I heard cheering. Before I could open my eyes it ended. She hopped off the stage and a group of guys ushered her into the kitchen. I stood frozen. My veins felt hot. My face flushed. Electricity ran through me. I’d kissed plenty of guys, but I had never experienced these sensations. I wanted more.Read More
This was the first time my disability was brought up, out of the blue, and used to hurt me. By my best friend. In such a nonchalant way. It was the first time I realized I was different and that difference meant something so much more than it seemed to at the surface--I would have it tough. Not just in the ways of love, attraction and sex, but also in the ways that my friends, acquaintances and strangers would view me, categorize me and make assumptions. There would be others who would use it knowingly, or unknowingly, to tell me I couldn't do something, have something or be something because of my congenital defect. If even my own best friend, the person who I saw virtually every day since we were eight years old, who lived across the street from me and whose family I shared dinner with more than my own, could do it without regret, then I knew I would have to prepare for much more of these red-faced, teary-eyed moments of someone else assigning me a limitation.Read More
BY LISA MARIE BASILE
Valentine's Day is thought to stem from Lupercalia, a Pre-Roman Pagan festival celebrated between February 13-15 (can we please get back to three days of V-Day?), and so the gauche, commercial excess was not the point. Lupercalia, to the Pagans, was a time for thwarting evil spirits and cleansing the space of its negativity. On this day, because how darling, it is said that the birds chose their mates.
In 14th-century England and France, poems became the primary Valentine's Day (please see Geoffrey Chacer's The Love Unfeigned, a 14th-century poem not specifically written 'for' Valentines, but romantic nonetheless; let us know if you can translate that better than we can). The poem became common again in the 18th century, and especially in the Victorian Era, when sentimentality reached its abslolute peak and V-Day's commercial value heightened. Embossed, lace, ribbons, floral patterns and deliciously ornate designs were the norm. #swoon
And then we got our filthy modern hands on history.
If, like us, you're sick to death of paying $4.95 for a contemporary, soulless, Teddy Bear V-Day card from Duane Reade, we've compiled a few of our favorite printable Victorian Valentine's Day cards. Our recommendation? Print these out, make yourself your own Valentine and create a little Victorian shrine for yourself. Or your lover. Whatever you'd like.
Just click the image to download the print, and if you want more, you can click into each photo and peruse the sites, which will allow you to either download more prints or send a physical Valentine to someone. (We still recommend sending yourself some love in the mail.)
And so, here are a few images (along with a few naughty Victorian bits) for you to swoon over.