Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day, Blah Blah Blah

From Wikipedia:

"St. Valentine's Day (commonly shortened to Valentine's Day) is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14th celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The holiday is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The holiday first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffery Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

Modern Valentine's Day symbols included the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards."

Well, that totally blows my theory that Valentine's Day was completely made up by Hallmark, 1 800 Flowers, and See's Candies. Although that last line about the mass-produced greeting cards confirms that Hallmark is to blame for blowing this "holiday" up into the ridiculousness that it has become.

Tell me, why does every retail store always have to have a holiday section that always has to have holiday stuff? Because honestly, I am not thinking about Valentine's day on the day after Christmas, but Target sure as hell is. On Monday, we will be bombarded with Easter paraphernalia, like stuffed rabbits nailed to crosses and plastic eggs hidden on a rendering of Mount Calvary. What? Ok, I know that was sacrilegious, but I've never really understood the whole bunny/egg thing. I suppose Wikipedia could explain that to me too, but honestly I'm just not that interested. Maybe if it was a really large chicken bringing the eggs, that would make more sense. And for God's sake, does a seven year-old child still believe that a large rabbit is coming to our house and leaving her a basket filled with stuff? Well yes, she does. Let me tell you, after 17 years of children, I am so over this Easter basket thing.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, Valentine's Day. It's stupid. I do not want my husband to get me some flowers that are going to die in two days, because that seems to me to be a huge waste of money. Now you can tell me that with proper care, they can live for up to two weeks or some such thing, but have you met me? Possibly you didn't hear about the Great Mum Incident of September, 2009. I can't really talk about it yet, but suffice it to say, it wasn't pretty.

I also don't want chocolates. Well ok, I do want chocolates, but I certainly don't need them, if you know what I mean. I suppose if we had some "extra money" (and I put "extra money" in quotes, because honestly I think that's a joke someone made up that doesn't really exist) I would like a trip to Bath and Body Works, because I love me some pretty-smelling lotion. And I don't mean pretty like flowers or freesia or lavender, but like warm vanilla sugar, coconut, or apple cinnamon. Yes, I like to smell like pies and cookies. Did you notice that whenever you find a scent you really like at that store, they discontinue it? They used to have this lotion, I think it was Almond Hazelnut or Hazelnut Almond or something, and I totally loved it, and they stopped making it. Same with Fresh Pineapple. I think they check to see what I buy, then they discontinue it.

You know what Valentine's Day makes me? Depressed. And not because of the present, but I remember high school, when it was so dang important to have a boyfriend and I didn't. Never had a boyfriend in high school. Pathetic, right? So every year, some stupid club on campus would sell roses that would be delivered to your sweetheart on Valentine's Day, usually by the choir, and they would all gather around the girl and sing "Let Me Call You Sweetheart", or some stupid thing. And I never once got a rose in four years. Even in college it was a big deal, and all these twits were running around with their little gifts that their boyfriends had given them, and they were so in love, and blah blah puke.

Even in elementary school, for Pete's sake. Remember way back, when they didn't send a note home saying that if you give out valentines, you have to give one to everyone in the class, and they send a class list with everyone's name on it stapled to the note so you don't forget anyone? Honestly, it would never occur to me to say to my seven year-old daughter, "Ok honey, tell me which kids in your class you like or are popular, and we'll only give valentines to them." But back in the 70s, it seems that's exactly what happened. And the prettiest little girl in the class got 342 valentines, even though there were only 28 kids in the class.

Now that I write all this out, I think I'm starting to see why maybe I don't like Valentine's Day. But by mutual agreement, I don't get my husband anything and he doesn't get me anything. We just don't. We usually blame that whole "extra money" illusion, but the truth is we're just not into it. I will run out today and get something for the girls, just because I always have. Unfortunately, the girl that needs right now to hear the most that we love her isn't here. But just in case she is reading this... Danni, I love you so much, and I'll have something for you when you get here next month. And I'll probably have gotten it at 75% off. That's ok, right? ;)

How about if we go back to the days of Geoffrey Chaucer and the handwritten valentines? Wouldn't that be cute? I just hate overcommericalizing (Is that a word? According to Blogger, it's not. And they have no suggestions.) every stinking holiday, just so stores can fill up that "seasonal" space they have. The only holiday I don't begrudge them is that "Back to School" holiday. That stuff comes out as soon as the 4th of July is over. And it's not a moment too soon.


Stacey said...

We don't usually get each other anything for Valentines day either. I did get him a card from the dollar storethis year. I do always get the kids something though. They are the important one's! You're right, back to school doesn't come soon enough! lol

Dawn in Austin said...

Not much into Valetine's Day either. Your'e right, it's been over processed.

When my kids were little, I would buy a box of the give away valentines for each kid, that matched their personality. Anyway, after bedtime the night before, I would tape them up all over the house. They always enjoyed that.

P.S. I totally hear you about the big rabbit, too.

Joann Mannix said...

I am not into the Valentine's thing at all. Although, my father, up to the year he died, always had a valentine heart full of chocolates and a handwritten note for each of his daughters with sweet messages telling us exactly what he treasured about us. I told my husband about this and he does it for our girls. That's about the only endearing thing I like about Valentine's Day.

I have an old book that I absolutely cherish. It's a collection of love letters from some of the most famous men in history up to the present time, to the women they loved. The letters set my heart a flutter every time I browse through the book. To me, that would be the ultimate valentine, just a simple love letter.

And the Bunny thing, gosh, I'm hearin' you. My 12 year old still wants to believe in the big red-suit guy and I'm so ready for all this to be done. It's been enough years, already.

Scotvalkyrie said...

I think it's amusing that you assume people know who Geoffrey Chaucer is. You make me laugh!!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'n totally not into Valentine's Day either. Besides, I buy my own fresh flowers every week at Trader Joe's!

Fannie said...

I kind of like Valentine's Day. A little something to break up the monotony of February and the cold weather. I sent a box of goodies to the girls February 1st. Mostly little sale things from Target. But also a box of Girl Scout Thin Mints! That was a big hit!

Mary~Momathon said...

We let V-Day slide by this year. My husband already bought me two bouquets of flowers this month (don't get jealous, they were apology flowers) and I didn't get anything for our daughters. Two of them have sweety-pies now and those guys can take over the whole Valentine thing for them and two of them are too little to have a clue what valentines are. I'm lucking out this year! This is my year to get a break from so much of this crazy stuff! No kids in school! Love it!

I totally know who Geoffry Chaucer is. One of my favorites!