Valentine’s Day? Really?

I would like to avoid a number of comments that require my “non-approval” decision, so let me preamble this Post first!

Over my fair number of years, I have seen/experienced so much abuse of “power” (in its broadest sense), that I do not automatically respect any form of authority. Respect is, to me, something that is earned. It is really that simple but, as you can probably imagine, it has caused a few issues over the years with a few bosses (and law enforcement officials)!

Businesses that try and manipulate me for profit get no respect, and manipulation to me is trying to make me feel a lesser person unless I buy (whatever). Having said that, while I recognize Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving as causes for recognition, this Post would be much too long if I explained my position with them… but today is Valentine’s Day!

In my early years in England, Valentine’s Day was not celebrated, but rather was treated with some degree of disdain as just another American tasteless profit making venture. It slowly developed into buying a card and a nominal gift (flowers or chocolates), but seemed to be used more by dating couples rather than married couples.  When I left the UK, married couples were adopting the idea of celebrating the day with a small gesture of some sort.

The American image in England at that time, was of a country whose people had more money than they knew what to with, and were therefore gullible for anything! (Remember the sale of London Bridge?). Since that time, it seems pretty clear that the English are generally just as gullible, but just take a little longer to “get there”!

I recently read a description of a Valentine’s Day celebration (albeit fiction) which included “announcing their Valentine gifts to each other”. Do people really now treat Valentine’s Day as a mini-Christmas? Just like the profiteering at our expense (if we allow it) with the other holidays, it does pose some perhaps uncomfortable questions.

If February 14 is determined to be the day that one might get spoiled as a show of affection, what happens over the other 364 days of a year? Some of you do not limit yourself to one a day, but so many do. Is this much different from helping out those less fortunate at Christmas, but then ignoring their plight for the rest of the year? Why do we accept all the commercial hype that precedes a celebration when we know very well that it is totally driven by exploitation for profit?

Then there is the less than happy alternative side to Valentine’s Day. Imagine somebody who does not have a “special somebody” to spoil them today. Imagine trying to cope with rejection, isolation and/or depression, when seemingly all around you are people buying/receiving gifts. Of course the “advertising machine” does not really help those individuals but then, its sole purpose for existence is to make a profit at our expense.

So where do I stand on Valentine’s Day? On the side of discretion; of not succumbing to commerce, but rather keep “the day” within conservative limits. As for those less fortunate individuals? They will just have to accept that Valentine’s Day will probably exclude them. That does not however give me the right to flaunt my particularly fortunate circumstances, which I am doing by supporting various business that specifically market to this occasion.

The free enterprise system of business is dictated by supply and demand. If we want to buy something, then somebody will make it. Conversely, if there was no demand for something, then the businesses would have to adapt or fail.

Making a show of affection does not need to entail spending anything, with a bit of creativity. Most couples that I know have, over the years, adopted routines which have invariably become a habit (i.e. the woman does the laundry).  Perhaps if the man took on the stereotypical female roles for Valentine’s Day?  Perhaps instead of “going with the commercial flow” of a Valentine’s Day card and a bouquet of flowers (and perhaps even a gift or two), go out to dinner?  Perhaps the couple could jointly prepare (and clean up after) a special dinner?  Those creative individuals can probably make a card without too much trouble, and wouldn’t you rather receive a personal card, rather than a store bought  one with some standard messaging printed inside?

Finally, given that most of us are complaining about government taxes; the cost of gasoline; increased cost of some foods, and the strict controls  on wage/salary increases… perhaps we really should look at lower cost, and possibly more meaningful, ways of expressing our affection?

Food for thought.




27 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day? Really?

  1. Industries will collapse if we remove the materialism and sensationalism of these days, Colin… It is a little stifling to be surrounded by this but well… Who am I to talk in a room full of romantics who love the idea of Valentine’s Day!?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Free expression is a wonderful thing. At least when you are here, please feel free to express yourself however you wish. Life is all perspectives and if I (we) think that your perspective could be expanded, then I (we) will respond accordingly. Of course your perspective could be enlightening to me (us)! 🙂


  2. I sincerely appreciate what My Better Half does for me on Valentine’s each year. At fifty-two years of marriage, he gets better and more creative each passing year; however, what he (and others) do for me on the other 364 Nothingsday Holidays means even more. Thanks for the wonderful posts which not only makes good points, but is a delight to this appreciator of good writing. TY

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    • Thank you Rae for your kind comments. As you so note so well, while a gift at a holiday time can certainly be appreciated, it’s the totally unexpected ones that have no basis for existence… except that somebody thought of you… that are the best! 🙂

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  3. I’m not a fan of the commercialization of any holiday. And the fuss about Valentine’s Day can be very hard on people who are alone, just separated, or especially had a partner pass away. Yesterday one of our employees phoned the office and began the conversation by wishing me a happy Valentine’s Day – I was taken aback as she knows nothing about my personal life and may have been treading dangerously! She is a genuinely nice person who was just being bubbly, but still…

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    • It is so easy to get caught up in all the commercial hype. I really do wish that people would stop and think a little more. Not only will they avoid the potential of placing “foot in mouth”; not only may they save some money, but they may also strengthen their relationship by not going overboard on Feb 14 (and coasting the rest of the year)! 🙂

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    • You’re very welcome Lynette. At these kinds of celebrations, it is easy to forget that not everybody is in a loving relationship. Just as at Christmas, it is easy to forgot that so many people cannot afford a Christmas dinner let alone gifts!


  4. You do make good points in this post. Brad and I fall in the middle. We have bought gifts for each other and this year he did surprise me with some special ones ( nothing very pricey though) We have made homemade gifts for each other also and been touched by them, or have done things for each other. It can be different each year. Society doesn’t tell us what to do, we decide on our own.

    On Mother’s Day when the kids were toddlers Brad would get me a new book. On that day I was able to prop up my feet and read a book the whole way through, while he took care of our children and made lunch and supper! I loved it!

    We have done Mystery Meals on Valentine’s Day a lot. I would make a special dinner and make up the menu with weird names. That way no one knew what they were ordering. Sometimes dessert would be your first course, but you may not have the proper utensil to eat it with.The kids loved it!

    There are more ways to celebrate holidays besides spending money, that is very true!

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  5. I am not the type of person who is easily directed by commercials or social rules. But I love celebrations. Valentine’s Day (like Mother’s Day) to me is not that ONE day in the year where are obliged by society to express your love but it is another wonderful occasion to do it – in a way that fits the relationship and the people in them. It can be a romantic candle dinner at home with their special music as it can be a lovely picnic at the beach whatever. If it turns out like a competition something was not understood the right way in my opinion.

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  6. Conversation last night: Jeff – “I’m just going to out and ask (some fear in his eyes)…did you already get me a Valentine card?” Me – “No.” Jeff – “Good, then you won’t mind if we don’t exchange cards and save the $10?” Me- “No, that’s fine with me.” Together – “I love you.”

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  7. For VD we canceled our grocery trip and car dropoff for inspection and rushed a sick cat to the vet. I was grateful that my husband went along although he didn’t need to. That’s just the gift I needed today. It’s really about the small meaningful everyday stuff, isn’t it?

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  8. Sometimes I think the series of holidays is simply done for the economy. Meanings totally lost.
    Even when I was growing up, Valentines was only important for the lower grades ( and teachers who needed to show a creative lesson/art project in their books) or for dating couples.
    It’s totally morphed into a competition and bragging event – simple with real meaning is better
    Good post

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  9. Valentine’s Day is too commercialised and another rip off and excuse to inflate the price of flowers, red roses in particular, in the name of ‘tradition’. I also feel sorry for those who have no special someone to buy for or be a special someone to someone else.
    As you know I make all my occasion cards apart from Sympathy cards. I feel it is only right to take the time to choose a specific card for a specific individual/family at the loss of a loved one, but even some of them are trite because of mass production.

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