Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Trouble With Valentine's Day

I hate the ballad, My Funny Valentine.
To me the song is sad and preachy.
And we're forced to hear it every year around this time.
The truth is that Valentine's Day is a damned stupid "holiday."
I don't want to be a spoil sport but this is a classic Hallmark Holiday. It was created to generate commerce after Christmas, in the dead of winter when nobody really wants to go out.
And over the years Valentine's Day has been pumped up into something so much more than it really is. It requires you to be loved, to have a sweetheart, to be wanted, to feel that you belong.
And if you don't fit one of those categories, you're pretty much left out.
Cupid passed you by. Tough luck. Stay away. Don't show your face. Don't spoil the day.
For guys, Valentine's Day involves enormous anxiety and pressure.
Hey, guys don't like to shop and they often have no sense of romance whatsoever.
So they seldom know what to do for their sweethearts.
Candy? It's too fattening. Flowers? They die. Cuddly bears? They lose their cuddliness and wind up as part of the clutter. Jewelery? Often too expensive.
Even this morning, many guys are still in a quandary as to what to do, I see them roaming aimlessly at the CVS or the Walgreen's looking for something, anything that will do that trick.
And then there's the whole dining out thing.
The restaurants will be jammed with roses for the sweethearts, special menus (usually pricier) and lots of fawning and feigned affection.
And since Valentine's Day comes on a three-day weekend this year there will be bigger package deals at area hotels, resorts and casinos. And you better believe these attractions will make sure they get every penny that's coming to them.
Hey, capitalism is wonderful. And I don't begrudge them whatever extra bucks they make. Especially this year when most businesses have been hard hit by the recent storms.
Still, there's something beyond merely silly -- something desperate -- about Valentine's Day.
And there's nothing romantic about desperation. Nothing.
So, if you have somebody that loves you, be thankful every day and never take that person for granted.
And if you love somebody, let that person know that he or she is loved. Do special things spontaneously and enjoy life's special moments and unexpected treats.
And if you don't have somebody right now, be thankful for what you do have and enjoy the day anyway. Indulge yourself away from all those forced funny Valentines
But above all -- don't wait till Valentine's Day.
Try to be a warm and loving person every day.


Anonymous said...

Well said Dan. I agree with you 100%.
I like to tell people that in Italy the holiday is called "Festa Degli Innamorati: (The day for those in love) and it's strictly for spouses and significant others. I tell people(who ask) that Hallmark is the one responsible for extending Valentine Day wishes to the entire universe, including dogs and cats and other pets.

Dan Cirucci said...

Thanks, Rosa.
As usual, the Italians have things in perspective.