Bah, humbug

Tomorrow, perhaps the most evil holiday in all Western culture comes upon us. I am referring, of course, not to Halloween or even to Labor Day, but rather to the diabolical holiday known as St. Valentine’s Day. This holiday negatively impacts coupled and single individuals alike.

For the couples, the deleterious impacts are obvious. What used to be respectable men turn into spineless fools, heaping gifts upon their “lovers” in an effort to continue buying love. The businesses are the main ones imposing these values on us through their advertising. I lately heard that jackass from Lamon Jewelers, for example, describing how the “major leaguers” will buy their women expensive jewelry for Valentine’s Day while the chumps will only spend money on candy. But whereas the feminists typically love to demonize the evil corporations, not so in this case!

I am not absolutely opposed to giving gifts and doing nice things, but I certainly despise this entitlement mentality. Seventy-five years ago, for example, engagement rings did not exist. Now, every would-be groom feels the need to blow thousands of dollars that could otherwise be put to better use. Similarly, whereas Valentine’s Day may have once been a fun holiday, the corporations and matriarchists have significantly corrupted it.

And while the coupled males suffer from the coercion to offer entitlements, the singles suffer from being classified as second-class citizens. Although I haven’t actually notice it myself, I have heard that if you get on Facebook, you can observe a significant increase in the number of “relationships” being established during late January and early February. I do think it is possible for males to capitalize on this phenomenon by finding desperate women to date, but these pairings tend to be unstable. Men should remember that if they are single on Valentine’s Day, they are actually better off. We should not take our gifts for granted!

Of course, there is at least one good thing about Valentine’s Day. That is, the day afterward, you can go to Wal-Mart and cheaply get lots of really good candy. I always thought the most romantic thing for Valentine’s Day would be to wait until the day after. Do you like chocolates, honey? Well, I just got you twice as many — because they were 50% off! Same goes for roses any everything else (except probably those stupid diamonds from that jackass jeweler). And you could avoid all the crowds at the restaurant. Things would even feel more individual and spontaneous and less herd-oriented — because no one else would be doing it!

I met this chick recently who said that she hated the cliche nature of Valentine’s Day so much that if a guy ever proposed to her on Valentine’s Day, she would decline. Woman of my dreams.

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4 Responses to “Bah, humbug”


  1. 1 Glenn E. Chatfield February 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    A lot of what you say has merit. However, I have always been a romantic, and always get my wife a little something for valentines day. This year I got her a $9.95 paperback of one of her favorite books she had been borrowing from the library. And then I took her out for pizza at Old Chicago and desert at Culvers. Little things like this is why we have been married for over 33 years – always letting her know she is important. But I never would spend the sort of money that these hawkers claim will make her love me more – a total waste!

    You are correct, of course, about the extravagent expenditure for gifts, and engagement rings, let alone the thousands of dollars spent on weddings. I bought my wife a very small diamond engagement ring and the wedding band was a very narrow gold one. We like simple things. Our wedding was fairly small in our church, with the reception of cake and fruit bowls in the church basement. I have played the bagpipes at almost 40 weddings and vitually all of them, especially those with large receptions, total thousands of dollars. (Our photos were the most expensive part of our wedding!) I see young couples going into huge debts to put a monster stone on a ring and then have a ceremony which rivals a queen’s which put their parents in debt!

    My son was given my late mother-in-law’s ring to have the stone reset in and engagement ring, and it isn’t much bigger than my wife’s. I’ll stick to simple gifts, modest rings and genuine love, not purchased devotion!

  2. 2 Bob Cormack February 15, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Drew, you’re making too big a thing about this. I have also been married 33 years and I always get something for my wife (I have forgotten a couple of times!). One can honor the spirit of the day and simply ignore the commercial excess. I don’t begrudge the retailers trying to keep afloat, either — whether or not I respond to their somewhat desperate advertisements. Been there myself.

    The key is to let your partner know how you feel about them periodically. Valentine’s Day can just serve as a convenient reminder amid the press of day to day existence — don’t let it get to you so much. Letting her know you will honor your vows is vastly more important than any gift.

    About wedding expenses (a more serious problem than Valentine’s Day by far): My wife and I were married at the site of an old hotel in the mountains and had our reception at a 100 year old stage stop (log building) — we didn’t spend much, but had a lot of fun and have many memories. Our daughter organized her own wedding, thinking she and her fiancee would have to pay for it. We paid for it at the last minute — she spent our money, but like she would have spent her own. It worked out nicely.

  3. 3 Wintery Knight February 16, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Great post! I could not agree with you more on the wedding rings, but have you considered the cost of weddings? That seems to me to be a very wasteful exercise in narcissism. Think of what the couple could do with that money instead!

  4. 4 Ilíon March 29, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    The woman I had once asked to marry me simply would not understand why I refused to “honor” V-Day.

    After two years with no answer, I decided that her answer might as well be “No,” so I broke off our romance (such as it was). We remained friends (until she married someone), which was good.

    A couple of years later (and after a short courtship), she married a man who did all the commercially-dictated “romantic” stuff. But, sadly (or amusingly), six months into the marriage, he began to treat her like a roommate … even presenting her with a bill for room and board (and this after she’d paid for a major addition to his house).

    The reason I know how her so-called marriage turned out is that she visited me once after the divorce. I’ve not seen or heard from her since (and, to this day, I’m mystified as to *why* she stopped by).


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