Here 'tis-Valentine's Day 2010. From what I've seen poking around the cyberworld, definitely a mixed reception to the whole concept.
I've heard it referred to as a guilt trip, and I suppose in most ways it is. Certainly most ads subtly paint it that way. For example, the ad that says 'Show her you care with a 1/2 carat diamond pendant' really means 'If you don't give your wife/mistress/sig other this 1/2 carat diamond pendant, she'll think you don't love her. Enjoy your time in the doghouse.'
On the other hand, what holiday isn't on some level a guilt trip? Christmas? 'You didn't buy enough stuff. Now your wife is pissed off and the national economy is ailing.' Anzac Day? 'You didn't do the gunfire breakfast at dawn? Aren't you a patriot?' The 4th? 'You didn't blow off a finger with cheap fireworks? What are you, a communist?' The admasters have done their jobs well. It looks to me like guilt is part and parcel of EVERY holiday.
I don't buy into the 'extravagant gift' school for Valentine's Day, but I do think-unless all concerned agree-that at least a token acknowledgement isn't a whole lot to ask...or to do. It doesn't have to be a card. Maybe doing something nice for your sig other-breakfast in bed, doing some task she wants done around the house, trimming your nose hair-would be the ticket. And, last I checked, a card isn't all that expensive.
But then, I'm a nice guy. And we all know where nice guys finish. Read your Durocher.
Actually, I do appreciate the silliness of the cynical side of Valentine's Day, and that's what I focus on with my horde of female platonic friends (Well, not a horde...). It's a way to have fun with the opposite sex, but not be so heavy and cloying that it sends the wrong message.
At any rate, celebrate or not as you see fit. I suspect some of you guys publicly state 'I don't believe in it, and we don't celebrate. So there.' Privately? You're beat down as bad as everybody else. You did something for her today. It's OK.
For you diehards, I'll link to comedian Sean Morey's 'The Man Song', because he tells it like it is!! Feel free to sing along.
I don't take no crap from anybody! ... else but you.
I wear the pants around here!...when I'm finished with your laundry.
'Cause I'm a guy you don't want to fight! ... when I say "jump" you say "yeah, right".
I'm the man of this house! ... until you get home.
What I say goes around here! ... right out the window.
And I don't want to hear a lot of whining! ... so I'll shut up.
The sooner you learn who's boss around here! ... the sooner you can give me my orders, dear.
'Cause I am the head honcho! ... but it's all in my head.
And I can have sex anytime! ... that you want.
'Cause I'm a man who has needs! ... but they're not that important.
And don't expect any flowers from me! ... because if I'm not mistaken you prefer jewelry.
I'm the king of my castle! ... when you're not around.
And I'll drink and watch sports whenever I want! ... to get into trouble.
And I'll come home when I'm good and ready! ... to sleep on the couch.
Because a man's got to do what a man's got to do! ... and I'm going to do what you tell me to.
Because I'm top dog around here! ... but I've been neutered!
Good comedy always has a kernel of truth.
Finally, stop by our Jennicki's blog and read her Valentine's post. It's a great story, very moving. Also, meet Julianne-she's actually moving to the area and becoming a Mississippi River Rat soon. Stop by her blog and say hello if you're so inclined.