Monday, February 9, 2015

Of candy and flowers and heart-shapes


Listen, it’s not that I don’t like the idea of Valentine’s Day. I love the idea of a day where couples can simply enjoy one another and bask in their love for each other, I really do. But that isn’t what Valentine’s Day is about anymore. Like all holidays, corporations take a hold of it by the hair and steer it in whatever direction they choose. And what direction is that, you ask?

Corporations are run by money. People who think they run corporations are deluded. They don’t run corporations, they are run by money as well. The corporation cannot survive without three square meals a day. Those meals are money, money, and money.

But how does a harmless corporation go about getting this money to appease its raucous appetite? Through trickery? Through shrewd bargaining? I believe they do it through strong-arming people against their will, and this is why: people are concerned with their image. A person’s image is everything. It’s what other people see, and it matters to the image’s owner. So how does a person’s image correlate with Valentine’s Day? I’m getting there.

Modern day men are expected to buy their significant other some sort of gift to present to her on Valentine’s Day. This is necessary because men are complete buffoons and putting up with us is unbearable. To appease our girlfriends, wives, fianc├ęs, or whatever, we are expected to buy them some frilly gift, which for a paltry fifty dollars, can be acquired via corporations. Candy? Flowers? Love notes written for those of a non-artistic breed?  All of these are resources which corporations are more than willing to provide us with, so long as we have the money to pay for these things.

Overly dramatic? Possibly. I embellish. I do do that sometimes. But there’s more truth to what I preach than you might think. Hear me out, because this is the part where I get all hot under the collar. These corporations need our money to thrive, so they imbed it in society that if a man does NOT buy a gift from these corporations, he is a lowlife scumbag who isn’t worth the time of day. He is the stupidest of idiots, and the slobiest of slobs. He isn’t worthy of the woman he claims to love.

And all because he merely didn’t fuel a corporation’s greed.

He didn’t say he didn’t love that woman. He didn’t claim his feelings were not the same as his words. But his actions said enough. He didn’t buy cheap (Read: stupid expensive) chocolate or a dozen roses or a sappy card of pink, white, or red… so he doesn’t really LOVE anyone. That selfish fish-head! What a complete, utter, waste of humanity. Thankfully he’ll live out his days in single… ness… and not break anyone’s frail, little heart.

A cheesy holiday, which isn’t even important enough to close stores or keep people home from work, has become a cash COW for corporations willing to milk it until it goes dry. And who suffers from that corporate greed? Merely the guys who are heels for not bending to the whims of said corporations.

What is the point of Valentine’s Day? To show the one you love, how you feel. Sure, it’s corny, and mushy, and lovey-dovey, but it’s cute and sweet. It’s a heart-filled bit of fun and merely meant to bring people closer, especially in a society where our lives never slow and we’re going so many places at once.

But the point, has been missed. The reason has been altered and twisted like only money-hungry corporations can twist things.

So… what’s the point to all this?

Valentine’s Day might have a special meaning to some couples, and I don’t want to be insensitive to that. But, if you want to show someone you care about them, show them they’re worth more than fifty dollars and corporation supplied junk you pick up on your way home from work. Take some time to make something personal, or if you don’t believe yourself creative; buy a gift which has more meaning than chocolate and flowers. Something that has a special meaning to both of you.

But most of all… don’t use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to show your special someone you love them. If Valentine’s Day is the only day you show your significant other how you feel, then maybe you deserve the contempt you might receive by not catering to the corporate greed feeding off the holiday.

If you’re going to celebrate Valentine’s Day, don’t do so because of obligation. Do it because you actually care and you want to show that in a physical way. There’s nothing worse than caving in to corporate greed, and allowing the corporate fat-cats to cash in on your supposed love.

I guess that’s my main beef with the holiday. Sure, I know corporations are going to use whatever means they can to procure the money they need to survive… but is it entirely necessary for them to use people’s love of all things? Seriously!? It sickens me.

So. With Valentine’s Day approaching. You might be planning to buy that certain someone a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a heart-shaped card and a bouquet of red roses, but I would encourage you to dare to do something unexpected, and veer from mainstream society by doing something more creative and specific.

Use Valentine’s Day to supplement the rest of the wonderfully sweet and charming ways you show your girl how much you love her, instead of making it the only day you do that kind of stuff. It should really just be ANOTHER opportunity to display your feelings, instead of the ONE opportunity. You have a whopping 365 days. Don’t make Valentine’s the only one.

No. I am not a cantankerous single man, bitter at a holiday aimed at something I’m not included in. I’m a cantankerous single man who’s bitter at society and how willingly it feeds corporate greed. I refuse to buy a girl flowers because someone else thinks I should. The only reason I’d ever buy her flowers, is so she knows how much she means to me.

(Unrelated… but not entirely: flowers wilt and die in a very short time. Chocolate is eaten quickly. Cards lose their meaning after a while. And yet, these are the ways we choose to show our love?)

Disclaimer: I don’t hate chocolate, flowers, or mass-produced greeting cards. And there is an element of care that goes into giving such gifts. But they are no substitute for true affection. In the end, it's the thought that counts, right?