Valentine’s Day is here, a perfect time to remind your sweetie how much you care for them. But how? Should you take them out to dinner? Buy them flowers? Have a drunk, nude feast? Those are all pretty good ideas, but I don’t know that they really capture the depth of feeling one wants to convey today. Dinners, nude feasts, and flowers all ultimately end. They are beautiful ephemera. But your love for your person? That’s forever, maybe. Or at least for a while.
What better way, then, to communicate your enduring affection for someone than by referencing something that has endured, intact, for centuries, something that remains impeccably preserved even in the most trying conditions. I’m talking, of course, about bog bodies.
Bog bodies are human cadavers that have been naturally mummified in peat moss bogs, whose highly acidic chemical environment keeps the bodies intact for hundreds of years. One of the most famous bog bodies, the Tollund Man, who scientists estimate died between 375 and 210 B.C., was so well-preserved that the peat cutters who discovered him on the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark in 1950 thought that maybe he was a recent murder victim.
So this Valentine’s Day, let your loved ones know that your feelings for them are as long-lasting as the stubble on the Tollund Man’s chin, which was still in place when they found him and suggests that he had not shaved before his death. Below, some romantic card ideas for your Valentine.
• May our love last as long as the primitive hair gel scientists found in the hair of the Clonycavan Man in Ireland, who was buried in a bog in County Meath around 392–201 B.C., and discovered in 2003.
• I wish I could bury our kisses deep in a peat bog, where each new layer of peat moss would cause the older peat underneath to rot and release humic acid, perfectly preserving our passion in the cold, murky depths for thousands of years.
• In recent years, archaeologists have used subsurface radar to detect bodies in bogs, but all I need to detect you is my heart.
• Thank you for the nice Madewell sweater you got me after I pointed it out to you in the store. Eight hundred years from now, scientists will find it perfectly preserved on my body, like the tunic of the Bernuthsfeld Man that was discovered in a bog in Lower Saxony in 1907, and know that I had a really good boyfriend.
• Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
We don’t know whether bog bodies were the victims of Druid sacrifice,
But I know I love you!
Happy Valentine’s Day.