But first, something that seems a little messed up and makes me long for the way we celebrated valentine's day in grade school.
There's some website that sells a "giant" teddy bear as a valentine's day gift. Their television ad goes something like "Flowers die" (you see the woman throwing a bouquet - and not a dead bouquet, in fact) in the trash. "And chocolates are nice for a few seconds, then she asks you, 'Am I getting fat?'"
The idea being, both of those are lousy gifts, so you should buy her what we're selling. (And there's that icky "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" comment at the end....they don't QUITE come out and say "she will 'reward' you in the way you are hoping for" but it is implied).
And two things struck me:
1. If a person is that ungrateful to their significant other, as to throw away flowers or to whine about being 'fat' after being given a box of candy. (Hint: eating one piece a day won't add an appreciable calorie load, if you're a reasonably active person), then maybe their significant other should rethink the relationship. Or at least giving gifts. (And I know: then the person would whine about not getting a gift). I actually said, "Dump her and find another girlfriend!" and then felt sad for the times when I was younger and I saw a guy I kind of like-liked going out with a woman who acted like that. Sort of a "what am I, chopped liver?" feeling.
2. The advertisers have done their best to ruin what could have otherwise been a fun and silly little holiday, by setting up all kinds of stupid expectations. I know men who feel absolutely pressured to buy their significant other something because of the fear that they will feel he doesn't love them any more if he doesn't (and this is thanks to advertising). And women who are equally convinced that they've lost "it" (whatever "it" was) if they don't get something. (And it seems there's far less pressure in the giving-gifts-to-men area). I remarked that they were doing to V-day like they did to Christmas, setting up false expectations of some big, impress-the-world gift. (There were fewer "Buy a car for her for Christmas!" commercials this year, but they were still there). At least with Christmas, for many of us, we still celebrate it as a religious day, and so it can't ever be fully "ruined" by the advertisers.
But, meh. For the record, if I got flowers? I'd enjoy them for as long as they were good, and maybe if they were from someone extra-special, I'd press one to keep as a memory. And chocolates - I already covered that. I'm pretty careful in how I eat these days but I could still make room for good chocolate.
It's really not that hard to smile and say "thank you" - even if, maybe, you plan to take the box of chocolates to work and encourage others to eat from it so you won't eat them all.
But that brings up another thought: Card exchange. Yeah, I want to do it again this year. I haven't bought any cards yet but I'm sure they're out (if they haven't already taken down the Valentine's Day stuff in favor of St. Patrick's Day). And at any rate, I still have some Pony 'tines left from last year, if nothing the local purveyors have looks fun. I like those silly little cards like we used to exchange in grade school in the shoebox boxes; I like the memory of the school parties we used to have with red Hi-C and cupcakes that someone's mother made. That's more my speed of celebrating Valentine's day - not as a day to pair off, so the people who aren't paired feel a little weird and left out, but a day to just enjoy silly puns or cartoon characters, and some kind of a little treat.
So, if you want a card from me, like last year: send me your address in an e-mail. I'll get the cards out this week; depending on where you live you might get them after Valentine's day.
Edited to add: when I had to run to the Mart of Wal, I picked up a pack of this year's My Little Pony ones (which look to be not appreciably different from last year's, except they promise to have glitter, and they come with stickers) and a pack of Phineas and Ferb ones. So I've got Valentines to send out.
And I ESPECIALLY feel this way after getting my mail today at home - all of it immediately went in the recycle bin. (catalog I never order from, other catalog I never order from, ad from some payday loan place, subscription offer from a magazine I'm not interested in, and The Shopper (and I would gladly pay a reverse-subscription just not to have to deal with that showing up in my box every week)). Nothing not addressed to "Resident."