Den of Thought

“Love’s Special Day”

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody.  That special time of the year that most of us agree is largely a marketing tool for greeting card companies, confectioners and flower peddlers.   

And why not?  Nothing says “modern romance” like a long-winded sentiment written by a stranger, a Whitman sampler that promises chocolate covered almonds and toffee, only to deliver that creamy pink filling nobody likes, and a bouquet of Flowerama’s finest that, like many relationships, starts out lush and vibrant only to wither and die a few days later.  Don’t forget the mad rush at your local Hy-Vee as night falls and absent-minded spouses and significant others grab whatever comes in a heart-shaped box to appease their loved ones.  

And that’s how we perpetuate it, isn’t it?  Anyone who’s been in any relationship for any amount of time knows full well that when their mate says, “Oh, I don’t need anything honey.  It’s just another day,” it literally translates to “If you don’t think of me and get me something you don’t have to worry about forgetting me on our anniversary, too.”  

Wouldn’t it be better to just randomly surprise those we love with flowers on a regular day?  Candy just because?  Dinner at a nice restaurant only to say, “I was thinking about you.”  Of course. But life happens.  You have school and homework.  A job on the side.  Social media accounts to update.  These overly commercialized holidays are a way, I suppose, to tell us that we need to stop and show some appreciation for those we care about.  And, maybe it is sad that it takes some socially mandated day to remind us of that.   

But the world moves at a fast pace.  If that’s what it takes, so be it.  Save yourself the grief.  Buy the flowers.  Wrap the stuffed animal.  If nothing else there is the clearance-sale candy we get to buy on the 15th.

Categories: Columns, Opinion