I guess it's time for me to get on my annual Valentine's Day soapbox. I tried to avoid it this year and actually strived to have a softer heart regarding it,
I made the stupid mistake of going to the store on the Saturday before. The fevered Valentine pitch that was running rampant throughout the lobbies of the store did nothing to soften my heart. As a matter of fact, it added a couple more nails to the Valentine coffin that surrounds my heart.
surprisingly enough, is full of love and tenderness toward my family and friends and mankind on the whole.
Here's what I saw in both grocery stores (I was looking to buy Valentine M&M's and Conversation Hearts so Inigo, Little Miss Doolittle and I could decorate Valentine sugar cookies):
Both stores had booths set up in the front of the store with frantic looking men standing in long lines. They had one booth selling crab legs; one booth selling balloon bouquets; another booth where someone was decorating large heart shaped cookies; and a flower booth surrounded by teddy bears holding heart shaped chocolate boxes.
It makes me wonder: WHY?!?!? Isn't it enough to say to your wife/husband.... "Don't worry about dishes tonight. I'll do them for you!" Isn't it enough to come home early from work and say, "I just wanted to spend some extra time with you." What about an understanding smile and "I'll put the kids to bed," for the frazzled young mother? Or a hug and "Thank for all you do," to the dad who is working two jobs and going to school? Isn't that a way of expressing love that is, quite frankly, more sincere and longer lasting?
It makes me FURIOUS that retailers have decided that I don't love someone because on February 14 I don't spend tons of money (I don't have) buying balloon bouquets and crab legs.
I remember when I was a kid. The joy of Valentine's Day was making a really cool box, taking it to school and hoping I got some cards from my school friends. Of course, heart shaped sugar cookies made by mom were a special treat. We all said I love you, but it wasn't accompanied by stuffed animals, boxes of chocolate and roses.
Valentines and love, were FREE to give! And since they were free, we could give more to more people.
I think about the frantic looking 75 year old man I saw in the flower line. He looked bewildered and confused about all the fuss. But for some reason he felt pressured to get in that line and buy that rose for his wife. The 60ish looking man who was in line behind him looked dazed. It seemed like he wasn't sure if he was in the right line -- ready to bolt to the decorated cookie line if an opening appeared.
It bet they remember a time when Valentine's Day was easier and cost a heckuvalot less cash.
And that, my friends, is my SOAPBOX each and every February. Please don't hate me because I didn't buy you that oversized teddy bear!
(Editor's Note:) I'm sorry if this post sounds too harsh. I don't want it to seem that I'm sitting in judgement on the many people who like to celebrate Valentine's Day. My frustration is directed at Retail America that pushes the "cash = love philosophy."