Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Or not.

I have all the usual objections to Valentine's Day.  I dislike the assumption of massive overconsumption of manufactured sweets, the necessity of buying cheap junk emblazoned with hearts and arrows for one's significant other and the presumption that somehow romantic moments are best found on days determined by historical figures.  Many people share these objections but still go along with the crowd regardless.  It is ever so common to find someone who agrees that Valentine's Day mostly benefits card/flower/candy companies and feels so cheap and unauthentic but who still goes out and buys all that crap anyway.

As usual, I have opinions, and my opinion this time is simple:  If you don't like it, vote it out.  The way you vote out a consumer holiday is not with your words, but with your money.  If you don't like the assumption of consumption, don't consume.  I assure you that when the money trail dries up, so will the endless displays of heart shaped candies in the malls.

A few years ago when I had just started dating my wife I was discussing this topic with my coworkers.  Wendy told me that I was not to get her anything for Valentine's Day and myself and the boys were kicking this idea around at work.  They all agreed on one thing:

"If you don't get her something for Valentine's Day and make it a big deal, it will be a problem.  No matter what she says she wants, she expects it."

My response:

"If she requests that I ignore a holiday and then gets mad at me for doing as she asked at least it tells me what I need to know. It will allow me to dump her to the curb now, instead of finding out she isn't the right person for me down the road."

Simply put, if I found that my partner normally engaged in those sorts of headgames, I wouldn't want to be in that relationship.  I actually found it quite astounding that all of my coworkers not only expected their wives/girlfriends to pull this sort of stunt, but simply accepted that all women would do this.  They couldn't even accept that some women would actually mean what they say when it comes to gifts and celebrations.  Surely I enjoy the fact that I have found someone to share my life with, but if it came to the choice between someone deceitful and being single, I would choose bachelorhood every time.  I still find it incomprehensible that others so seldom demand better for themselves but instead just assume that mediocrity is the best they can hope for.

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