Sunday, February 12, 2012

Annual Valentine's Day Rant

I hate Valentine's Day. I think it's stupid, pointless and outright exploitative. And it highlights a fundamental flaw of human nature--expectations. I forget where I heard/read this, but "Expectations are resentments under construction." Oh my Lord is this ever true on this day. Valentine's Day sucks.

If you're single, the issue is self-explanatory. But guess what? Even if you're with/seeing someone, it still sucks. God help the poor suckers who date high maintenance girls who expect (there's that word again) to be treated like princesses because it's February 14. And if you just started seeing someone? Good luck deciphering context and body language cues to figure out "where you are" and therefore "what's appropriate." It doesn't matter what you do. You will be wrong.

Any relationship (or lack of a relationship) has numerous outside influences on it. Some can be controlled, and others can't. The fact that there is one day a year that these outside influences are all packaged (by flower/chocolate/greeting card companies) as something that can and should be controlled on anyone's relationship situation is ludicrous. Yet, that's really what's happened. So not only are expectations omnipresent, they're at an all-time high and completely unreasonable. February is a time that we're bombarded with images of what love "really" is and what gift is a "true" indication of how much another person cares about or values us. This is really what it's come to.


With all this going on in the background, my favorite only favorite guest blogger gave her undergraduate students the assignment to analyze a TV commercial or print advertisement, note appeal made by the ad and then spoof it. At least someone's trying to use this to get smarter, right? Apparently not, but that's a different tirade for a different day. I don't know about the rest of my readers, but had I been given this assignment in an undergraduate class the week after the Super Bowl, I would have been pumped because it's easy. These guys? Not so much, apparently.

So, children, while you're otherwise occupied, I will do your homework.

The appeal of this commercial is pretty obvious. Her name is Adriana Lima. She wants men to buy flowers and implies that doing so will get them laid by the women in their lives. Simple. Clear. Transactional. According to this commercial, that's what Valentine's Day is supposed to be. Gents, that's as far as this commercial thinks you're capable of looking.

But guess what, ladies! Before you snicker and start gloating, note the undertone. You will put out if your man mindlessly gives you flowers because a super model on a Super Bowl commercial told us all that's how it works. A simple transaction resulting in sex. That's called prostitution. Adriana Lima may be subtly calling men idiots, but she's even more subtly calling women hookers.

Now if all that doesn't make you want to buy flowers, clearly you don't understand Valentine's Day, and therefore, you don't understand/can't experience love.

As for the second part of the assignment, if I was actually doing this for a grade, I could easily mock the entire video, but this is just a blog. So here's my answer.

Love is something amazing that is shared by people around the world every day--not something that shows up once a year in some empty grandiose gesture. It pisses me off that people allow a few industries to bastardize its meaning for the sake of sales.

I read an article that stated that those celebrating Valentine's Day will spend an average of $126.03. I'm not sure of the methodology of the survey, but as sad as it is, I absolutely believe that number. There are a bunch of other interesting nausea-inducing facts in that article. If you've eaten something that isn't sitting well and want to throw it up, read the whole article.

I'm sure once upon a time Valentine's Day was a valid celebration of real love, but like most things, we've completely screwed the whole deal up now, and now we're left with this.

Again, Ugh.

1 comment:


    Best way to spend Valentine's Day, by crossing the International Date Line and having it disappear!