Tuesday, February 14, 2012

{He Says/She Says} On Valentine's Day

We all have our opinions on Valentine's Day. I myself flip flop between "it's a contrived excuse to spend money" and "Awww, but let's do something sweet!" Meanwhile, men are feeling the pressure to show their devotion in adequate fashion and re-woo their ladies. So I've pulled in my boyfriend A. to share his thoughts on the matter along with me for another installment of {He Says/She Says}. Feel free to chime in with your own!

{He says} Everybody knows Valentine's Day is a manufactured holiday to get people to buy crap and spend money they normally wouldn't, and to express feelings explicitly without real cause. They still "celebrate" it anyways and it sucks. It sucks for a number of reasons, but the main one I can think of is that even though we're supposed to be celebrating love between two people, the responsibility is all on the guy to show the woman how much he feels for her. The man is supposed to make the dinner plans. The man is supposed to buy her flowers. The man is expected to propose with the engagement ring that cost him a month's salary worth of useless minerals whose value is artificially inflated by market collusion.

Listen up, women. You fought for equality and I want you to have it. But that also means you have to do some work around here, too. Actually, I have a better idea. Forget having one day a year to celebrate your love - do it every day. Why spend money on command when you can work your celebration of love into everything you do? I have a notion that Valentine's Day causes more grief than pleasure; with all of the worry involved with single people acquiring a date and taken men scrambling to appear smitten as if he never learned how bad her farts could smell. It's sort of like how "pro-family" values split up more families than they hold together. If we stop trying to force it, we might find a peaceful and pleasurable equilibrium waiting for us.

{She says} Listen, I completely acknowledge the pressure men must feel on Valentine's Day. There are all these expectations and requests to make this the best day ever and if you let her down when all of her friends are getting flowers, jewelry, and boxes of dark chocolate, then you could be in for a bitter treat of your own when she comes home. I'm not going to lie; last year I was immediately surprised and just as quickly disappointed when a delivery girl walked up to my cubicle carrying a huge bouquet of flowers - only to ask where so-and-so sat.

When I was younger, this was just a lame holiday that made me feel bad for never having a boyfriend while pretending that I didn't care about all that mushiness anyway. But now? Now I don't think there's anything bad about having a day devoted to loving one another. If we remember what truly counts - not the lavish dinners, the shiny presents, or forced sentiments - then would it kill anyone to shower someone with a little more affection today? Yes, this should be a regular occurrence, but having a day for that purpose is just a nice bonus on top of what you should be doing the rest of the year.

Besides, after a few years with a person it's nice to get off the hamster wheel and find fun ways to express just how much the other person means to you - and this goes both ways. We do want to be wooed and fawned over, but we also know how to give it right back.

Oh, and baby? Please don't propose to me on a Valentine's Day, okay? Love you!

Image: downtownfrombehind.tumblr.com


  1. Great post!

    I find myself currently single and celebrate myself today - not settling - loving myself first and foremost, so that when I meet my fella, I'm nowhere near the Hot Mess I am today. :)

    Seriously - it's all about LOVE. With friends, family, children, co-workers... Love is what matters. Not the marketing machine.

    Have a great day!

    1. For a self-proclaimed "hot mess" of a person, it seems like you've got your head on right.

  2. While I agree that a special day devoted to love is awesome, I also agree that people make more of a big deal about it than they need to. But maybe it's just the fact I get presents and shows of affection all year round "just because" that makes me feel that way? I don't know. All I know is that the pressure put on people to give their partner the best Valentine's Day in the world is annoying, stupid, pointless, and - quite frankly - the cause of many arguments and break-ups that happen this time of year. Sure, I don't want to be the only one not getting flowers while everyone else around me is, but at the same time I'm not going to be getting annoyed with my man because he didn't get me the flowers. I mean, we don't need Valentine's Day to give us a reason to show the love we feel, and if we do then the human race has become even worse than I thought!

    1. Tell me about it...I admit, it's really easy to get wrapped up in it when everyone around you is going on about the things they received. It can make you momentarily forget what the point of it all is, I guess.

  3. I agree with everything you said. 100%. And I love the flowers and cake I got too. :)


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