How is your love life? Everything going smoothly? No issues? Maybe a few bumps along the road? Want to feel better about the romance in your life? It could be worse. Light up the old Schadenfreude lamp to consider the troubled love affair between our old pals, Cupid and Psyche. It will make you feel better about your own situation when you consider their troubles. The path of true love occasionally does not run smoothly.
Begin by considering the words of the great philosopher Connie Francis who wrote the song “Stupid Cupid” which includes the lines “Stupid cupid you’re a real mean guy/ I’d like to clip your wings so you can’t fly/ I’m in love and it’s a crying shame/ And I know that you’re the one to blame/ Stupid Cupid, stop picking on me.”
Cupid and Psyche show up in Roman mythology. Psyche is the uber beautiful mortal daughter of a King. She is so good looking, people stop worshipping Venus and worship Psyche instead. This does not sit well with Venus who is used to being the Love Goddess. Venus sends her son Cupid to wreak revenge on Psyche. Cupid is supposed to shoot a Love Arrow into Psyche that will make her fall in love with a loathsome dragon beast. Cupid is so smitten when he sees Psyche that he scratches himself with the Love Arrow so he falls in love with Psyche.
Meanwhile Psyche’s Daddy consults an oracle who advises that Psyche is fated to fall in love with a dragon which will destroy the Earth. Her Daddy dresses Psyche up in a funeral outfit. He sends her to the top of a cliff where he expects the dragon will come to sweep her off her feet. It’s a buy one get one free arrangement – a wedding and funeral rolled into one. Zephyr, the West Wind picks up Psyche and drops her down into a meadow where she falls asleep. She wakes up and wanders over to an empty mansion where a feast serves itself to her. A voice tells her to go into a darkened bedroom where an invisible somebody makes whoopee with her. Instead of a dragon, it’s actually invisible Cupid who is boinking Psyche.
This goes on for several nights, resulting her getting in a family way. Does this sound like the plot of “Rosemary’s Baby”? Psyche doesn’t know who her Baby Daddy is.
Because she thinks she has been sleeping with an invisible dragon, one night she hides a knife and lamp so she can find her reptilian lover and kill him. With the lamp she sees Cupid who is studly. She sticks one of his arrows into herself and falls in love. Cupid, who has commitment issues, wakes up and flies out the window to get away from her.
Psyche sets out on a quest to find Cupid. Psyche has to ask Venus for help to locate her sweetie. Venus, who is still cranky, assigns Psyche to be supervised by two of her minions named Worry and Sadness to torment Psyche. Venus demands Psyche perform difficult tasks. She has to sort out a bunch of different grains which would be impossible but for the help of some friendly insects. Always be kind to bugs, for a bug may be somebody’s mother. Psyche also has to retrieve wool from maladjusted sheep.
Lastly, Psyche must go to the Underworld to get a magic box. A friendly talking tower tells her to take some cakes and carry two coins in her mouth when she goes South. She gives the cakes to distract Cerberus the Three Headed Dachshund so she can slip into the Underworld. On the way back out she gives the coins to Charon the Ferry Dude who takes her back to the surface world. Topside, she opens the box and immediately falls asleep under a spell. Cupid escapes from his Mom’s house and flies to find her sacked out. He removes the sleep from her eyes putting it back into the magic box. Cupid takes Psyche and the box back to Venus to complete her quest.
Cupid goes to see Zeus to get permission to marry Psyche over his Mom’s objections. Zeus agrees that if Psyche helps Zeus procure mortal maidens for him, the marriage can go on. Zeus tells Venus: “Back off Boogaloo" from being an interfering Mother in Law. She has to leave Cupid and Psyche alone. The Gods get together for a big wedding feast for the happy couple. Zeus gives Psyche a wedding gift of ambrosia which makes her immortal like the other Gods.
There our story ends. The couple lives happily ever after. Now don’t you feel better about your own romantic situation? Odds are you never had to get wool from violent sheep to find true love. Ignore Connie Francis, love the one you are with.