I’m not a big political person, nor am I big into protests but there is one cause I feel very strongly about. Whoever decided that Valentine’s Day should be a big national celebration should be shot. I’m sure it was someone from American Greetings or Tiffany or Whitman’s, which are all fine American companies, but they are more exploitative than Britney Spears at the Hometown Buffet.
Valentine’s Day is confusing to Dudes their whole lives. When I was a kid, the girls at school used to pass those crappy quasi-cardboard Masters of the Universe Valentines’ cards around to the boys and the boys would reciprocate with Strawberry Shortcake. If you think about it, who could be more romantic than He-Man or Skeletor? But it was a trick. The girls usually weren’t interested in the boys, but social convention and overbearing parents forced them into distributing V-Day cards to all the boys in the class.
So if the girls gave cards to all the boys and the boys gave cards to all the girls, how can I say the boys were being deceived and the girls deceptive? Because the girls’ mass distribution was an act of being polite, even though the popular girls really only had eyes for the captain of the kickball team. When the boys gave cards to all the girls in their class it was more of an act of covering all their possible bases, like playing 5 bingo cards at a time, than actual romantic interest. Thus in elementary school, the game of cat-and-mouse begins.
Fortunately those cards didn’t cost much and were usually paid for by parents hoping their kids would come home with some mini Snickers bars they could pilfer. In high school and college, the stakes were much greater. Was it worth the risk of working for several months to rent a limo, go to a fancy dinner and buy an ugly corsage for a girl who may or may not like you? Again, for the captain of the football team, it’s all good. Captain of Academic Decathlon, think again before passing go or spending $200.
In my mid-20’s, I met a girl just before New Years and started dating her just after. If I’d known better I would have waited six weeks before calling her, as her birthday was just a few days before Valentine’s Day. The ultimate double-whammy for a Dude to handle. Perhaps I should have bought her a pack (or two) of Doublemint gum which allegedly would have doubled the pleasure and doubled the fun. Instead, I had several consultations with her biased roommates which probably led to me spending more than I should have on such a new lady friend that things ultimately didn’t work out with. In retrospect I should have gone with the gum.
Now that I’m married and have a child, it’s still not clear exactly what I need to do for Valentine’s Day. Do I need to buy my wife a gift from my 2 year old? Is a card sufficient? Do we need to get him something? He’s not in school yet, so thankfully he doesn’t know about those cheap cards which probably contain modern cartoon characters like Thomas the Train or the Kardashians.
After hearing all my kvetching you might wonder if I hate Valentine’s Day. In reality, I don’t. In fact if it wasn’t for Valentine’s Day, I might not be here today. What you probably don’t know is that my birthday is almost exactly 9 months to the day from February 14th. So I guess I should live it up, for if not for the magic of Cupid I might not exist.
|Happy Valentine's Day to my 2 favorite people!|
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