Thursday, February 8, 2007

What would Cupid do?

I'm really not too sure what the hullabaloo about Valentine's Day is.

It's funny-- considering that I am in a relatively new relationship, this should be the time when I am most enthralled with the notion of warm fuzzy romance and flowers. However, I am feeling myself wanting to distance myself from both extremes in terms of the reactions to this event.

The most obvious distaste comes from the whole notion of a day of romance. We all know the cliche that "Valentine's Day was made up by greeting card companies." We are bombarded with advertisements about how every plausible product can be related to romance (What better way to show your loved one you care than by getting your drains professionally cleaned for Valentine's Day? She'll feel like she married a whole new man! Plus, book early, and free song-o-gram included!) Everyone wants to know what you are doing and is secretly judging your relationship by the quality of your plans.

Myself, I can't figure out how there is anything romantic about being told on what day to be affectionate and how you are to do so. It requires little forethought, outside of dropping by the florists and making dinner reservations, and little knowledge of your partner, outside of maybe what kind of chocolate they like. The very nature of real romance, in my book, is surprise, with a little creativity thrown in.

However, don't think the above diatribe makes me a part of this ever growing anti-Valentine's Day cult, either. It seems, year by year, the media focus is turning more to "how on earth does a single person cope with Valentine's Day?" Anti-Valentine's Day parties and merchandise are becoming increasingly de rigeur.

The people chowing this down are, in my mind, buying into the hype just as much as those people rushing out to buy life-sized teddy bears. Are you really so ashamed of not being in a relationship that you have to concoct an elaborate defense against what you claim is just a meaningless materialistic holiday anyways? Yes, I know that single people are discriminated against in our culture that emphasizes coupledom as the end all, be all. We all know that. But why should one day a year really make you feel inadequate as a person? After all, no one really wants a life-sized teddy bear.

8 comments:

Ant said...

I'm going to engage in a spot of sexism here and squarely blame the whole Valentine's Day debacle on women...

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said in that post, and I super-wholeheartedly agree with the stuff about how singles feel bitterly inadequate, and shouldn't let it get to them like they do (I don't even really notice V-day...)

Buuut... if your man doesn't do *something* this wednesday, I guarantee you'll be at least a teensy bit disappointed. It is one of the cleverest marketing tools ever devised - no woman is immune...

daverichards said...

Well Valentines day is just round the corner now...and it's a time to wish all your loved ones all around...well for some really interesting resources to wish them all just drop by my blog on Valentines Day and check out all that i've posted there!!!

psychgrad said...

While I do feel that "Valentine's Day" pressure (just as I do for any other "holiday"), I would disagree that all women are inflicted with being sucked in by marketing tools. I think as long as the couple has an understanding about Valentine's Day (e.g., no celebrating it) and that the relationship is recognized in other ways (on a regular basis), many women would be just fine with ignoring Valentine's Day all together.

Ant said...

Nope - every single woman in the whole wide world is affected by it.

Even if there was an understanding, and there was genuinely no bad fall-out from V-day being missed, there would be a tiny little corner of her heart that would be secretly hoping that he's going to pull some little (or big) gesture out the bag at the last moment... and which would be a tiny bit disappointed when he didn't.

Women. Not men. :o)

*Lights touch-paper and runs away*

LMizzle said...

While I don't like the whole Valentines Day hearts and chocolate blahs, I do like surprises every once and a while. Sometimes dudes forget though...and you have to gently remind them...WITH A PUNCH.

:0)

psychgrad said...

ant - I guess we'll just have to disagree...

Princess Pointful said...

Ant- I can't say with 100% certainty at this point, of course, but I think that I am okay with there being no delivery of roses and such this Wednesday. One reason could be that I am genuinely immune to the Hallmark invasion. It could also be that I have almost a 12 hour workday ahead of me on Wednesday, so a romantic celebration is not very plausible. Thirdly, we have made a pact to take a weekend away sometime in the next month or two instead-- I don't know if that means that I bought into the whole thing or not.

Dave- I'm glad you thought so hard about my post! Clearly what I was saying through the whole thing is that my skepticism about Valentine's Day is simply a result of my lacking myspace codes for big shiny hearts to send to my friends. I am now officially an incurable romantic and Valentine's Day-a-holic.

Psychgrad- That's what I'm hoping for my relationship. It's okay for me since we've discussed it in advance (so I'm not expecting anything) and we do tend to do a lot of fun things (in other words, the relationship isn't stale). But I'm not entirely sure how many women feel the same way.

LMizzle- Exactly. It's all about surprises... and Valentine's Day is the least surprising time for romance in the world. It says absolutely nothing about the state of your relationship- because anyone can follow the three easy steps needed!

eric1313 said...

I've been single on a few Valentine's days. It's not so bad. You go to your favorite bar and flirt with your favorite bartender or waitress and can usually find some single girls out together for support, and soon, one is not quite as alone as they were--however, once all the fun is over, the alone usually comes screeching right back.

Let me tell you, there is little odder in the world than feeling alone while lying next to someone sleeping. I always have trouble sleeping next to someone anyway. Just them being there wakes me up with a smile--if I know them well--or as said, if it's something crazy and one nightish, I feel hollow and it can seem like hour before I fall asleep.

Glad to be able to say this back here. Thanks for listening. I imagine that I have your confidence. If that's not too presumptive of me.

btw--the red "I hate you" bear reminds me of my other big inspiration, my friend and sometimes lover Jessica. She's a sweetheart, who occassionally pops by my blog under the anonymous name Ariana and tells me she loves my poetry, as one would hope the lover of a poet would.

She doesn't blog, but does the old live journal thing (so nineties!). She had a blog, but quit after a few weeks, a couple years back when it was new. I'm slowly trying to get her back into it, but we're off in different directions now. AKA, she has a new boyfriend, and calls me when they fight, which actually only kind of makes me upset.

Can't help it. That kind of thing isn't right. I feel like I'm being used, so I decline her--which is a hard thing to do. She's a hot redhead with gray-blue eyes and a sway like a willow tree, to quote many a bluesman.

Damn hot.

OK. I'll be going now, should save reading for a later time. You are a lot like me, curiously. Hopeless romantic, talkative, writer type who really gets caught up in your passions, who overthinks, over analyzes and loves the heck out of the oddest things.

Glad to be a friend--even just a blogger friend.

Thanks for listening.

ha! word verification is "edmonto".

I love the Oilers! Almost as much as the Red Wings!