This is your Valentine's Day Post - Deal
Posted on February 14th, 2007 @ 04:08pm in Rants
Mmkay, so I've been falling behind in keeping up with everyone's blog posts lately. To top it off, most of my daily reads aren't updating often either which has resulted in me expanding my horizons so to speak. I have read eleven different blog posts today. From a Malaysian blogger to your average American blogger and everywhere I look (with the exception of very few) it's all the same thing. Ooh it's Valentine's Day...I LOVE you ALL!!
Quick, someone gag me with a spoon.
To be honest I just cannot see what the fuss over this holiday is. Hell, it's not even supposed to be a celebration of "love" but rather it was originally the designated date of celebration for the Christian/Catholic saint St. Valentine, as declared by the Pope in 496.¹
My main gripe with this overly romanticized, Hallmark backed holiday is this: if you love someone do you really need a day to tell them? I mean seriously people, is it all that romantic to have your significant other give you a rose on Valentine's Day just like every other S.O. around the world who feels obligated to and doesn't want to be sleeping on the couch for a week? Wouldn't you rather have them remember a significant day during your relationship that meant something special to them? Take this scenario for example:
You arrive at work one day, completely tired and not looking forward to another long day slaving away to make ends meet. Twenty minutes before your scheduled lunch break your boss shows up and tells you to go ahead and go to lunch and casually suggests you take your time. As you exit your place of work you are met with the sight of your honey holding a picnic basket and ready to whisk you away for a home cooked lunch for two. Over lunch they tell you that today marks the exact date that they realized how special you were to them, and all you had to do was scold them for slacking off again at work. Your righteous fury at their casual disregard for their own welfare touched them in a way they cannot express and as they looked into your angry eyes they realized you were angry because you cared for them and knew they were better than that.
To be honest a moment like that would mean so much more than the following:
It's twenty minutes to your scheduled lunch break and you're ready to head home instead of just taking a break when a deliveryman from the local florist walks in. He looks about as exhausted as you are and is trying to juggle two nearly identical arrangements in his arms while reading the contents of his clipboard. He glances up at you for the first time and brusquely inquires to your identity. After confirming that you are indeed the customer he is seeking he starts to hand you one of the arrangements, it's comprised of a dozen red roses and baby's breath held in an elegant crystal vase, when he suddenly jerks it back with a muttered "sorry, wrong one" and hands you the second arrangement. This one is comprised of a dozen red roses as well (which look decidedly the worse for wear) and garnished with a couple of sprigs of baby's breath and arranged in a cheap plastic vase. The delivery man quickly wishes you a happy Valentine's day then heads off to his next delivery. You find out later that the second delivery was for your annoying coworker who can never stop bragging and for the rest of the day they decide to regale you with tales of their newest flame.
In all reality, the gift given to loved ones on Valentine's day is an obligatory sort of tradition. You do it because it's expected of you. Yes you might love the person, but rarely does that love show through in the gift. Why, because it's the thought that counts and when a gift is expected is there any care actually put into it? I think not.
Of course maybe I'm just jaded. Hey, my birthday is February 12th, do you know how many guys have thought it was absolutely "romantic" to ask me to be their valentine on my birthday? How many roses and chocolates I get because I'm a Valentine's baby? It's sad really. Of course maybe this all stems back from when I was in elementary. Our school, like any other school, allowed you to send flowers, balloons, cards, and candy to whoever you wanted on campus. It was a mark of popularity to return to your seat after lunch to find your desk covered in Valentine's gifts. Hell it was that way in middle school and high school as well come to think of it. There was one year that I will never forget though. It was while I was in elementary still, fourth or fifth grade I think. We had just returned from lunch and there were some valentine's on my desk. After I read the valentines given to me, all of which were from my friends, one boy rose from across the room and stumbled forward to give me a valentine. The poor boy was blushing like mad and who could really have blamed him. I mean here I was, a total tomboy and pretty much the outcast of my school. I was the girl he had known since kindergarten and the girl he always recruited for pranks and one of only two girls the guys fought over when picking players for kickball. And then there was the boy, he was our class's most popular student, superb jock, and he had most of the girls giggling over him. And here he was giving me a Valentine in front of everyone. And it was not a valentine you would have given a friend either. I was touched and I think my cold little heart melted then swelled, and to be honest so did my ego.
The moment was ruined however when the teacher walked over and congratulated the boy on giving me a valentine and she actually had the gall to give him a Gold Slip. ² Worse yet, he had the nerve to take it and act proud of his "achievement". Needless to say I returned his valentine to him and refused to consider his interest in me, and my own mutual interest, any further. If he was smart he would have turned down the "reward". To add insult to injury he won the drawing that week too.
Moral of the story, Valentine's day is an overrated holiday. The real creation behind the day was lost to history and snotty nobles, and the meaning behind the newer holiday is lost in the over marketing conducted by retailers and expectations of society. If you want to really show your love for someone, then do something original and put your time, effort, and most importantly your love into it.
¹ Click here for the full history behind Valentine's Day.
² Gold Slips are the opposite of Pink Slips and were used by our school. Gold Slips were awarded to students who did well academically or did some notable act of goodness. There was a weekly drawing held for students who received a gold slip. The winners received various prizes from new tapes, books, stationary to even free meals at certain restaurants.