Love is in the air. Romance is flowing along with plenty of wine. Couples everywhere are rejoicing while single folks are pretending not to care while weeping in there frozen dinners for one. Somewhere a sadistic little toddler is sniping people with arrows and cash registers are exploding at every florist, chocolatier and card shop. It must be Valentine’s Day. Which in my opinion is the worst of the non-holiday event days.
Other similar non-holiday events are St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween. The major difference with these days is that both of them are used as excuses for unnecessary partying and mass consumption of alcohol. Not to mention the less than conservative attire to be worn, particularly on Halloween. Where as this day of love is not used as an excuse to have fun, but instead is a day of forced guilt and affection. A day when we are told how to act and what sort of mood to be in and what to buy, all under the guise that it’s about love.
Now I don’t want you to think that I’m am anti-love or have some sort of hate-on for Valentine’s Day. It is indeed quite the opposite. I’m all for love and romance, especially of the hopeless kind – you know grand gestures and magical moments and all that other mushy stuff. It’s just that on this day it is forced upon us. To me the idea of a romantic obligation seems like a bit of an oxymoron.
Also wrapped up in this notion of obliged romance is that it’s all on the men. Over the last few days everywhere I turn I see warning signs to men not to forget the big day. Open the funny pages and all the male characters are fretting because they have to find the perfect gift for their girlfriends/wives/sweethearts. All the while the women are adding more pressure with hits and jabs, while waiting to be swept off their feet.
It’s not just in the comics where this idea prevails. Flip through the rest of the paper and you can find many other articles telling guys what the perfect gift is and what women really want for Valentine’s Day. And it’s not limited to the print media either. I must have seen half a dozen TV ‘news’ stories in the last week with lead-ins along the lines of “Well Valentine’s is just around the corner and one local resident is helping out all those guys who haven’t got a clue what to get” or “OK fellas, not sure what to get your special lady, well here is dating advice columnist such and such to tell you what to do and how to do it.”
I just don’t see how bombarding someone with the notion that if they don’t shell out big for V-Day they’re a lousy partner. I fail to see the romance in a man showing up, gift in hand and saying “Here Sweetie. I got you this and I know you’ll like it because I read all the advice columns, articles, wish lists and even the consumer report on most popular Valentine’s gifts for women…so…sex please”.
Again I feel I should mention that I am not anti-love or romance, I’m just not a fan of a large build up and emphasis on a single day. I’m also not saying that you shouldn’t do something nice for that special someone today. In fact I think you should, but don’t let it be because you feel obliged. Do it because of the caring and love you may have for one another.
I also feel that by going to all the trouble of some elaborate dog and pony show to display your love on this single day it diminishes all the other days. It’s as if by going all out on V-day you can slack off all year. But why does it have to be today? Why not three days from now? Or three weeks? What’s wrong with showing up with flowers and making dinner just because it’s a Wednesday or meeting your guy/gal at the end of a day to walk home with them or what have you?
It just seems to me that if you have a special someone why wait for one day to be outlandish. Why not spread it around all the time and not force each other into spending huge amounts of cash and effort into one day. Anyway I’ve got to go because the stores will be closing soon and I just realized I don’t have the perfect gift yet…Oh God, Oh God, I’m screwed what am I to do. I should have listened more to all those advice columns. Looks like I’ll be sleeping on the couch. Happy Valentine’s Day.