Thursday, February 14, 2008
Here is my valentines post from a few years ago. Not sure what you're doing to celebrate it, but I'm going to the Anti-Valentine's Day party at Flask. I designed the flier. We're not protesting love, just the cash cow the holiday has become for the floral, candy, jewelry and greeting card industry. Love is not a product or a commodity to be bought, sold or profited from. Anyway, have fun today however you celebrate it. Read on:
I stopped by the grocery store on my way home from work last night. It was then that it truly hit me it was Valentine's Day. The checkout lanes were packed mostly with men buying flowers, wine and cards. My initial thought was, "You're buying your wife flowers at the grocery store?" And then I thought, "wait a minute, how sweet that you even remembered to buy your wife flowers." Apparently, a certain woman in line agreed with my first thought. She turned to her female friend and said, "If my husband bought me flowers at Shaw's, he would know not to bother to come home at all." She said this a little too loud, as I'm sure she wanted all the men to hear her. The man in front of me who had just purchased 4 bouquets of flowers turned around on his way out and said, "That's why I married a nice woman and not a bitter one like you. If I were your husband, I wouldn't come home at all." I was absolutely beside myself with joy that he had put her in her place. I never knew a super market could get so quiet. He, too, said it loud enough for everyone else to hear. I felt like I was in a cheesy movie and fully expected one person to start the slow clap that would then erupt into all out applause for the guy. Well......that didn't happen. And seconds later, things were back to normal.
This is why I hate Valentine's Day. Somewhere down the line in this woman's life, the floral industry convinced her that she absolutely deserved flowers every Valentine's Day. But not just ANY flowers, hers had to come from an expensive florist. Seriously, what's so bad about flowers from the grocery store? One of my most praised photographs is one of a bundle of sunflowers. People love that photo and are always surprised that the flowers I photographed came from a super market. We usually have fresh flowers in the house and people always compliment them and we buy them at the super market.
February 14th should be just like every other day. The day you should really celebrate your love is your anniversary, whatever it may be. Then you can get all dolled up and go out looking your best while basking in the glow of your love for one another. If Valentine's Day is about love, then why is there so much stress and expectation involved? Did I get her the right thing? Will she like the flowers? Did I spend enough? Will she like the restaurant? How will I pay my mortgage next month after what I spent on jewelry? Yes, I'm directing this to women. Not all women, because I know many women who don't buy into this holiday. Everyone knows the pressure of Valentine's Day lies directly on straight men. Just watch the commercials and go to the card section and you'll see what I'm talking about. Most men don't really care what women get them for Valentine's Day and most men would like to see the holiday go away altogether.
I pass a nursery a few times a week and they have a sign advertizing one dozen roses for $19.99. This week those same roses were $49.99. They're making suckers out of everyone who pays the extra 30 bucks! Hallmark and FTD make a killing in profit off this holiday. And for what? So that woman at the grocery store can berate her husband for not buying her the right flowers? So that every husband who forgot the holiday can disappoint his wife? Do we need Hallmark and FTD to tell us when and how to say, "I love you"? No, we don't. You can buy sweet cards any day of the week, as well as nice flowers. The candy section is always open.
No where in the book of Corinthians, where it talks about love, does it mention tacky heart shaped boxes full of stale chocolates, overpriced flowers or tacky greeting cards filled with bad poetry.
When you look up the word "love" in the dictionary, here are my two favorite definitions: unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: and attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers.