Valentine’s Day: The Hype, The Emotion, The Spendingon Feb 14 in Blog by PhillWade
Every February 14th love seems to be in the air. Cupid wears the same diaper underwear and continues to shoot people with arrows of love. Wait…or is it arrows of commercialization and over-spending? I think the latter. Many of us get caught up in the emotional appeal of Valentine’s Day by buying an array of gifts ranging from chocolates, bears, roses, jewelry, and edible g-strings (so I’ve heard…). This day often puts certain unwanted pressure on men as well. You can blame the Christian martyr Valentinus and Pope Gelasius I for the creation of the day if you’d like. Buying a gift(s) for that lucky lady can be a daunting task, especially when women utter the infamous line “You should know what I want, surprise me”. The female expectation for Valentine’s Day can be overwhelming in my opinion. Placing the value of one day where everything costs almost double the normal price seems a little ridiculous to me. Am I guilty of falling victim to the lures of this seemingly love-filled day? Sure I am…it’s just cool to write about it like I’m innocent. I’m not against Valentine’s Day at all; I simply think the rhyme and reason could be tweaked. Walk with me people and let’s explore a few of my thoughts regarding Valentine’s Day.
1. The Hype: He loves me…He loves me not
There’s no better way to subjectively judge someone’s love or admiration for you than by measuring the impact of their Valentine’s Day gifts. “Let’s see what he’s gonna do this time” and “he better come with it” are good ways to be disappointed on V-day. Don’t judge a man by what he gets you, hell…he may just not be a good gift-giver. The number of gifts or cost usually has little to do with how much he loves/likes you. A dozen long-stemmed roses are a sweet gesture, and the Tiffany’s bracelet looks mighty fancy on you, but you may lose the value of someone’s love for you by using Valentine’s Day as a measuring stick. Oh, and please don’t hit your man with “Look at what (insert your friend’s name) got her! What are you gonna do?” Don’t create unnecessary conflicts, they don’t usually turn out as you would like. Anyone with a credit card and cash can make it LOOK like they love you, so don’t be so quick to rank a man’s fondness of you based on the chocolates and bears you receive. Instead, just appreciate efforts and sincerity. Remember the part where you said it’s all about the little things? This is the part where that applies. Men approach tasks, including Valentine’s Day, with a problem-solver mentality. The “problem” as we define it is creating that special day for you. Our solutions can come from different sources, including our boys. Most times, we as men, huddle up amongst each other and consult on what we are doing for our women folk. Hearing “Oooooo! Damn dude that’s a good idea!” is our way of confirming with our boys that our ideas are up to par. On behalf of many fellas I know, we want women everywhere to know that we do in fact love you, just don’t use a man-made day to justify and validate it.
2. The Emotion: “Valentine’s Day should be everyday” – yeah right…
This is the go-to cliché’ phrase that is commonly used by those who don’t have a Valentine, or neglect to think about how emotionally and financially draining a 365-day Valentine Bash could be. When was the last time you asked a female how she was doing on..Let’s say a random June 18th and heard her say “I’m doing great..It feels like Valentine’s Day all over again. My man is so awesome, another Teddy Bear! Yay!”… Valentine’s Day every day is just not a realistic approach and would honestly get boring after a while. I know what you’re saying. “DJ, that’s not what it means, couples should treat each other with love every day.” I agree, but let’s be careful not to synonymously link love with February 14th. If you don’t happen to have a Valentine this year, don’t get down on yourself, it’s not that serious. Just because you’re not in a relationship or dating, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy February 14th. An estimated 15% of women send themselves flowers anyway so your coworkers and friends probably didn’t get shit for V-day either. Lol.. My point here is 365 days of Valentine’s is excessive and a bit too sappy for the average person.
3. The Spending: Don’t go broke over this day
Analysts project that in 2012, $17.6 billion will be spent on Valentine’s Day. We all know this is a major holiday for retailers, alongside Christmas and Thanksgiving. With this kind of financial injection on the economy, we can see that Valentine’s Day isn’t ONLY about love; it’s about the almighty dollar. Stores are fully stocked to cater to your every need. It’s also reported that millions of consumers cannot afford the Valentine’s Day purchases they make. Its sad when one will go broke in an attempt to prove him or herself in a 24 hour love fest. Let’s be smarter here people. Part of being smarter has to do with creativity. There are plenty of affordable alternatives to the traditional cliché’ approach to Valentine’s Day. Show off your culinary prowess by cooking a meal for that special someone. Throw in some $5 candles, a bottle of wine, and the Jodeci Pandora station and you’re good! Also, try writing a hand-written love letter, in crayon. Take it back to the days before we all had laptops, iPads, email, and other current technology. Your Valentine should respect and appreciate the “out-of-the-box” approach taken. I think you get the point here: It’s not about WHAT you do or the amount of money you SPEND, but more so about HOW you choose to give. Creativity and sincerity go a long way, I promise. Retailers are licking their chops in hopes that you max out credit cards and deplete cash reserves this season. Don’t fall victim by granting them their wishes.
Based on my statements above you would probably think I’m totally against Valentine’s Day and everything it stands for. You’d be wrong. I believe that if you care for someone and want to do something nice for them, do it out of the kindness of your heart. Don’t let February 14th dictate the way you show how much they mean to you. There should be “For No Reason Flowers” and “Baby be ready in an hour, I have something planned for us tonight” occasions. Spurts of spontaneity are never a bad thing, and in my opinion are more thoughtful than assorted chocolates. After all, spontaneity is the spice of life! So sprinkle a little in your life and note the results.
If you are going to give gifts to that special someone this Valentine’s Day, be honest, respectful, and authentic as you make your purchases. Have a purpose behind what you do and don’t break the bank or go into debt trying to prove yourself. If your mate puts that much pressure on you over a few gifts and dinner, there are deeper issues that need to be handled. This goes for men and women, since it’s now common for women to give men gifts other than “the obvious one” lol. Don’t let Valentine’s Day be the only time you show love and admiration. Love is a continual process that grows, so if you’ve planted the right seeds, you will bear the fruits of your labor throughout the year.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all…
DJ Kendrick (@Dkendrick1)