Cynical About Valentine's Day? Don't Be.
Wish I could just encapsulate all the advice I've given to the younger friends during the past few years for all the people who are down on this day. I've given some really great advice about how to avoid the hype and nonsense about Valentines Day. But it's hard, since we've all been sort of brainwashed with the ads on TV and the jingles on the radio. It's just another problem with modern society, the way the media and capitalists use any excuse to hype and promote a holiday just so we would line their pockets, with no regard towards people's feelings. The marketing genius's have done a great job making some of us feel crappy if we're not breaking the bank for that someone special. Even worse if you're between relationships.
Perfect example: Kay Jewelers slogan: "Every Kiss Begins With Kay..." which sort of implies that to get to first base or suck face, you have to shell out some dough to get the ice. The message is if you want to score, you have to buy her off. They're saying women are prostitutes for diamonds, Is that it? Women should be pissed.
Where's the outrage from feminist groups? Where's the condemnation from all the women who have fought so hard to be taken seriously and to be seen as equals to men? I hear crickets. How about the environmental groups, since the efforts made by the DeBeers Corporation to find these diamonds must be murder to mother earth, the implication being that everyone needs to give diamonds every Valentine's Day and the impact on the environment should then be enormous.
There's also the notion that you have to get THE PERFECT store bought card. Insert typical Hallmark commercial... every special moment needs to be punctuated with a special card. Then there are the ads with hard liquor, Champaign or wine... For the moment to be just right, it has to be staged with all these products. For the perfect Valentine's day (or night!) you have to have the right piece of jewelry, the right card, the right bottle. Valentine's Day has become the Christmas for lovers... and we all know what's become of Christmas. Christmas is less about Peace and Hope for mankind and more about breaking the budget by getting this season's "must have's." How about we just stop calling it Christmas and start calling it Debtmas. Or about going totally commercial and call it Visamas. Happy Visamas and a Happy Debt Year.
We've all be programmed to believe that money can buy love. If you're relationship is in trouble, you can spend your way out of the dog house. Or if your relationship is growing stale, you can freshen it up with a wonderful bouquet from FTD florists. Call 1-800-Get-Help and charge just $49.95 and you'll be able to give her the best trinket or widget and your heart ache will be gone.
Let me break this to you folks bluntly... you've been lied to. Some of you have already figured this out, some of you are still waiting in line at the check-out counter thinking that if you buy the right item on the right day you'll fix what ever is wrong with your relationship. There's nothing you can buy and put in a box or stuff in an envelope or park in the driveway that's going to make to night magic. Granted, buying nice things for someone you love is great, but it's not the end all and be all. Buying special items for that special someone isn't or shouldn't be the single expression of love, it should be expressions of feelings you already have and share the rest of the year.
Neither is working the long hours at work going to solve your relationship problems. Working your life away to pay off the debts you made to buy the things to make up for the time you miss spent perpetuates the problems. Working to pay off the credit card debt for the stuff you bought to make up for the time you missed because you were earlier working too hard to pay off the stuff you bought earlier on credit to make up for what you missed even earlier then that... it's a vicious cycle.
Love isn't spelled "M-O-N-E-Y," it's spelled "T-I-M-E" and "L-I-S-T-E-N." The cure for all anguish when it comes to affairs of the heart is spending quality time with the person you care the most about. The best memories of my marriage so far has nothing to do with what we bought for each other through out the near decade we've spent with each other, with the exception of some thoughtful gifts that came about because we know each other best.
Here's an example - two Debtmas's ago, my wife got me a copy of "The Kennel Murder Case" staring William Powell as Philo Vance. It's important to me because my wife was paying attention to one of the trailers on our DVD of "The Thin Man," one of our mutual favorites. She was stumped on what to get me for Christmas, heard William Powell mention his earlier movie, then went on line and purchased a copy. Sure, she spent a little money but it was thoughtful because she listened and was clued in on something obscure yet something I might enjoy... and she was right. One of the most precious moments because she listened and didn't just get me the "must have" of that year.
Gifts from the jewelry story, cards from Hallmark, bottles of Korbel are meaningless with out the heart that his been nurtured and cared for over time. Spending time together and building memories while actually listening to each other is vastly under rated in this modern age. Our society has become superficial and commercialism has taught us that money can buy love. What they don't tell you is that the kind of love money can buy isn't the love worth having.
What should others know about this made-up holiday, but don't?