Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Valentines Day: a pinnacle of consumerism
I can't tell if I'm posting this before or after Kate's Valentines Day post (stupid time zones!), but I just wanted to chime in with my own views on this day: I hate it. I know Kate says you don't have to and all that, but I think you really do, and not because of the relationships part of it. Pretty much the only holiday I like anymore is Thanksgiving, because advertisers really can't do much with it except push turkey and yams at you. It's also the only holiday we have about being grateful for what you have, as opposed to what you're hoping to get, or what you can get out of others. I think of Valentines Day as the pinnacle of consumerism, Hallmark's ode to useless garbage (except for those little heart-shaped, pastel-colored candies; those are good).
Also, there's a very good reason you should dislike Valentines Day from a relationship point of view: your 'someone special' is (presumably) someone special all year long. What better way to assuage your guilt of ignoring or taking for granted him/her the other 364 days of the year than by buying something that will be in the trash within a week? Actually, that has a touch of irony to it, though not in a good way.
Anyway, it's a day that should be ignored. Take your significant other on a picnic, or stay in and do something, whatever floats your boat, just remember that you ought to be doing it year-round, not on Valentines Day when you're being charged exorbitant prices for what ought to be common place for the two of you.
As a single, I'm free to completely ignore the day (except for when I'm laughing at people spending $50+ for flowers). There's a forum I'm active on, where a boy was complaining about not being able to stay in a relationship. Not just complaining, he actually seemed panicked about it. Everyone was busy comforting him, letting him know that eventually someone would come along, etc. I pointed out to him that being single isn't terrible, it's a wide open world where you never have to hear, "But why don't you want to spend time with me?" or, "Why don't you call when you say you are?" These seem like pretty big perks to me. Then again, I'm a twenty-two years-old curmudgeon, so take it for what it's worth.