Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

I really hate this holiday. And, no - not because I am (once again) single, but because it's what I call a "show" holiday. A business-sanctioned guilt trip to force people in this rough economy to express an emotion with their wallets.

*deep breath*

Now, I understand that we all like to show the people we love that we love them. I understand that it's really nice for a spouse or significant other to get that little public display every now and then. I mean, what woman doesn't love getting that flower delivery at work? What man doesn't love it when his lady dolls up or fixes a romantic dinner? I get it. I want it, too. 

The problem is (especially in this economy, but at any other time too), a lot of people try to equate the value of a gift with the value of the affection. I saw a commercial the other day that had two guys racing through stores aisles, trying to out-do each other with gifts for their mate. Crazy.

And, let's face it: we live in a society of shallow folks. People just love comparing and competing as consumers. You drive a SUV? I have a bigger and better one. You got a new house? Ours is bigger... And when it comes to relationships - from dating to marriage to parenthood - men have it tough when it comes to material things. The media does a great job of making a measuring stick out of everything from the type of car a man picks up a date in to carat size of an engagement ring. Get married and attention shifts to where the couple lives, what school their kid attend... On and on and on.

So, I'm not saying that flowers and candy and "pajama-grams" are nice. I'm just saying it shouldn't be such a contest. I wonder how many men and women would gladly give up the gifts of that one day if they could get love, respect and courtesy every other day of the year? That'll never happen. The card, candy, flower industry would never stand for it. They'd probably just go on the offense and make us all feel guilty for further damaging the economy.

Since it seems to be here to stay, I might as well go ahead and say it:

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!