Saturday, January 31, 2009

Valentine’s Day: The Hallmark of Manufactured Holidays

This freelance column from January 27, 2009 is no longer available at so I'm re-posting here....

Let me apologize in advance for this sexist rant, but I just don’t like Valentine’s Day and I doubt as a man I’m alone. Honestly, how many men do you know who mark their calendars or ever say “I can’t wait until February 14th!”, unless it closes with “…is over.”

Probably few. Except maybe those currently in a relationship who think six-dollar roadside flowers will guarantee the lay, or the happy hour predators who barely contain their elation when they read the expression “I will not be alone on today of all days” on so many faces.

I enjoy holidays like Mother’s Day (they deserve it every day) and Father’s Day (often the forgotten parent, sometimes for good reason, many times not), and even your birthday when you get to be treated as special (though let’s be honest, you had nothing to do with the actual birth and this should be the day mom is truly honored). But Valentine’s Day? Man, I just don’t get it.

If you’re in a relationship, you’re constantly reminded about what you’re supposed to do: buy jewelry, or flowers and candy (that better be with jewelry). Not exactly a celebration of commitment, monogamy or the hard work of a relationship: they’re just personal, unoriginal gifts intended for one gender, albeit the fairer of the two.

Ah, and then there’s the obligatory dinner out on one of the busiest nights of the year. Restaurants rarely need to take reservations anymore and call-ahead seating is more of a warning for the staff that more people are on their way. I appreciate any opportunity not to have to cook, but I’m claustrophobic in crowds and, again, this is not an original idea. Traditions should be created, not replicated because your calendar, your television, or a national marketing budget dictates it so.

And in all honesty, I don’t particularly enjoy celebrating on a day when so many cannot. If you’re not in a relationship, there’s nothing like a reminder every seven minutes on the tube about what you won’t be receiving, right after the weight-loss commercials they’ve been cramming down our throats like virtual bonbons since Boxing Day (the day after Christmas).

So if you really want to know what men want for Valentine’s Day, it’s a break. But for the love of Pete, please don’t tell us you don’t want anything when you don’t mean it. It’s worth the cards, flowers, chocolate or installment plan not to have to live with the disappointment we inevitably cause by really skipping the holiday this year.

So Happy VD, everybody! Yeah, that’s what it feels like.

1 comment:

Varun Gupta said...

Oh great!!! what a nice post on love. Thanks for providing such a nice article. Wish u Happy Valentine's Day. It would be great if you elaborate it more. Your comment at my will also be appreciated