I went to Safeway last night and was confronted with a huge, bright red Valentine’s display near the entry way. Cards, stuffed animals, balloons, chocolates, and a whole host of other useless red items obstructed my path.
Every year I experience the same emotions during Valentines.
First: “WTF is all this red? EYES HURTING.”
Second: “Wow, if this isn’t a pile of useless overly-priced shit, I don’t know what is!”
Third (usually around Feb 15th, when the shelves are depleted): “Oh. People actually buy this stuff.”
Valentine’s Day, like a bunch of other american holidays, seems like the most blatant corporate scam to get you to buy useless crap that I’ve ever seen. Yet…it works! Genius. For me, buying me some expensive chocolates that will buy me an extra 5 hours at the gym and a mass-produced teddy bear isn’t as cute as it was when I was younger. Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to celebrate love and sex, but why is it celebrated using such artificial means? How does this $20 plushie that you bought 5 minutes before coming over say anything about our relationship to each other? Yeah, I know, I sound like a cynical heartless bitch….but I promise I’m not ;)
What I mean is: if I’m going to be a forced cultural participant, show me you care every day of the year, not just the one where stores happen to have a number of obnoxious red displays. If you want Valentine’s Day to be extra special for the hell of it, then bring on a long day together of comfortable chatter and amazing sex. And hey, for people who are into “gifts”, why shouldn’t we get something we can BOTH enjoy? Oh baby. I see Valentine’s Day as merely a light-hearted excuse (not an exclusivity) to spend time together, to celebrate our connection, and make each other feel amazing in meaningful, lasting ways.