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Cupid's Arrow

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February can be a really difficult month especially if your love life is struggling, or nonexistent. I remember, as a child, desperately wishing Cupid would hit me with his arrow so I'd fall instantly in love and live happily ever after. Cupid let me down, and I felt more like Connie Francis singing:

Stupid Cupid you're a real mean guy. I'd like to clip your wings so you can't fly...

So, with Valentine's Day just around the corner, I couldn't resist digging up how this cute, chubby, cherub came to be the symbol of love. Consider it my gift to you, hopefully providing some laughs to help you maintain perspective through all the crazy Valentine's hype this month.

Did you know:
  • One legend has it Cupid's mom was the goddess Chaos. Sounds reasonable to me...
  • Cupid became known as a playful, crafty god who carried two kinds of arrows. One was gold-tipped, which made its victims fall instantly in love with the first person they saw. The other had a blunt tip and caused its victims to become surly and vengeful towards the first person they saw.
  • Cupid's idea of fun was creating unrequited love by shooting one person with the golden-tipped arrow and the next person on the scene with... you guessed it... the blunt one. (I'm thinking, at some point in my marriage, Cupid must have speared my husband with the blunt arrow.)
  • According to Roman legend, Cupid's mom was actually Venus. She was very jealous of Psyche, a beautiful young princess beloved by her subjects. Feeling spurned, Venus ordered Cupid to make Psyche (via golden-tipped arrow) fall in love with the ugliest, poorest man in the land. Cupid set out to please his mom, but, upon seeing Psyche, he was so overcome by her beauty that... he shot himself in the foot. Hence he fell madly in love with Psyche and she with him. The fallout was a family scene worthy of the gods... and some high conflict divorces.
  • Cupid gets credit for the expression "love is blind". Even Shakespeare acknowledged it writing: "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind. And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind." (Midsummer Night's Dream)
  • Thanks to technology, today you too can be Cupid. For mindless stress relief, have fun with the free online Stupid Cupid Game. It's your chance shoot as many arrows as you like at whomever you choose. (Warning: It may be addictive and, at least for me aiming correctly is quite difficult.)
  • For future reference, there's a free, online dating site called OKCupid. (I found it so I'm reporting it, but please file this away for after the divorce is final.) Forbes even wrote about its Crazy Cupid Blind Date feature. And, of course, there's now an app.

Amazing how legends can be so close to life.