Some Valentine’s Thoughts

Valentine’s Day can be a cute, lighthearted day, but I don’t like what has become of it. When I was in elementary school, it was fun to make cards, colour hearts and take them home for friends and family. There would likely be a few heart-shaped chocolates or a heart-shaped cake for dessert. It was a low-key, fun day.

Now, advertisers try to make us feel like moral degenerates if we don’t buy flowers, chocolates, restaurant meals and some sort of sexy present for our significant other, if we have one. It’s sort of, spend money, and spend THIS way, otherwise you don’t care about or love your people.

My M and I disagree. We don’t believe in giving special attention on just one day; we try to show it every day. We avoid going to restaurants or buying gifts for Valentine’s Day; the commercial demand that we celebrate in an “appropriate” way by spending money in a super-busy restaurant with over-worked staff who are serving up limp meals is not something on which we’re willing to spend money.

We would much rather go at a time of our choosing and really enjoy it. Give flowers at any time just because. Do little things and show in numerous ways how much we love and appreciate each other. Enjoy a chocolate heart.

But be guilted into a formulaic response so that big companies can collect money? No thank you.

What is your opinion?

24 thoughts on “Some Valentine’s Thoughts”

  1. With you all the way on this, Lynette. I’m afraid capitalism has elevated the $ motive to the status of a god. We so need to get back to simpler lives with less consumption for the sake of it, and less abuse of our precious resources so we have some chance of preventing total climate disaster.
    Like you and M, we never ‘celebrate’ Valentine’s Day either. As you say, every day is special in our relationship.

    1. Agreed. The push to celebrate every little thing with buy, buy, buy is so greedy, damaging and unnecessary. M and I don’t buy birthday presents and we spend when we want to rather than when we’re told to. Ugh.

      1. I think so many people look upon possessions as a sign of ‘status’, which is, of course, also pretty fatuous. We buy what we need, when we need, and always pause when it’s something we can describe merely as something we want.
        I bet, like us, all the advertising is completely wasted on you.

        1. Yes, advertising is completely wasted on me. I laugh when I read about search engines trying to “tailor their content” (aka advertising) to me. Good luck with that. We just don’t buy much other than food, and although we will spend quite a bit on a good restaurant or bottle of wine, we’re doing it at our choosing, not according to commercial hype.

          1. People like us must be a nightmare for the advertising industry. Our interests are wide and diverse, so their search engines haven’t a clue where to direct the stuff they try to point at us. I’m always amused by the stuff I’m sent as advertising, and I completely ignore it all, of course.

  2. I totally agree. We shouldn’t make a big deal of doing something special for each other on only one day of the year, but rather it should be everyday. I would also rather show my love for someone by spending time with them than buying a gift. For Valentine’s day tonight my husband is going to make my favourite meal. I am then planning a weekend adventure in Algonquin.

    1. That sounds great, Linda. Enjoy your husband’s company and a good meal with him. Spending time with my M over a meal is one of the best things ever! I’m looking forward to seeing your post about Algonquin. 🙂

  3. Great post. Showing love by crass commercialism is just a marketing scheme, not love. We always treat it and many other days as a special day, but have often time shifted dining out (what is that?) experiences to a different day. This morning, we are having weekend cappuccinos, pain au chocolat (at home) and reminiscing about how and when we met (if we could only remember) and expressing gratitude that we found each other. Love is a feeling, an action or a thought, it is not being guilted into giving expensive gifts (said the cheap man). Happy Crass Commercialism Day Lynette. Allan

    1. Thank you very much, Allan. I like your expression, “time shifting.” We’ve done that as well. We never go out to a restaurant on New Year’s, for instance, but will on the 30th (that’s also the anniversary of the day we met). I agree completely that love and appreciation are feelings represented by actions, and really have nothing much to do with expensive gifts. Where would the diamond industry be without a huge, concentrated effort to pressure men into buying engagement rings?

      Your morning coffee and pain au chocolate sounds wonderful!

  4. I totally agree. I wrote almost these same words on my blog years ago. I feel the same about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Shouldn’t we be letting our parents know how we feel more than one “guilt” day of the year? Some families may even be estranged, and the reminder is not a warm one. Some may not be parents and their parents may have passed away. Valentine’s Day and the others are for big companies profit. For that matter, Christmas’s true meaning was not meant for profit either. 😉

    1. I agree, Lori. All the hype and pressure to buy and behave in certain ways can be intensely painful for a lot of people depending on their history or family situations. Except for children, we haven’t bought Christmas gifts for many years. Advertising and a pressure to buy doesn’t go far with us!

  5. Add me to the list of people who feel the same as you do. I agree that it’s fun for kids to make Valentine decorations and colour hearts, make cards, and all that sort of thing, and to talk about caring for others, but way back when I was in elementary school, I already felt the pain of Valentine’s Day going too far. We were all encouraged to bring store-bought Valentine cards and deliver them to friends in the class. At the end of the day, feeling gut-bombed amid a party of pink cupcakes, pink icing on cookies, and pink and red candies, everyone could see who the most popular boy or girl in the class was, and who were the pariahs who got very few cards, as if to validate the pecking order. I was never the one with a pile of cards on my desk. I blame it on my wonderful late mother who, in those days, dressed me funny. Her dress code motto for me was, “I may not be dressed pretty, but I’m warm” (northern winters). Sigh! So, I was cured of commercial Valentine’s Day a long time ago.
    But I do think it’s a good time to be reminded to be good to each other, and maybe celebrate with a special dinner at home.

    1. That’s awful. I’m sorry to hear that you had that experience. I distinctly remember not being allowed to do that at school. If I wanted to give Valentine’s hearts, it had to be on my own time. This definitely wasn’t the norm though; my school was an oddity for the time. It’s really horrible what schools have perpetrated and tolerated over the centuries. Such casual, careless ostracism and cruelty.

      I agree that it is a good time to remind people of the need for appreciation, respect and care, especially at school. And yes, a nice dinner at home. 🙂

      1. It taught me something to avoid when I became a teacher later on, and I guess it made me tougher because I had to learn to endure that time. I hadn’t thought about that in years, so you see, I’ve survived it. We had a wonderful dinner tonight with my 100-year-old mother-in-law.

        1. I didn’t know you were a teacher! I remember very fondly some of the teachers I had. Yes, some tough doesn’t hurt – we all need it a bit. And your 100-year-old mother-in-law! How great and precious. 💛

          1. I had mostly good teachers, but I had a couple of awful ones. I remember them all, but for different reasons. I tried not to be like the awful ones when it was my turn to teach.

          2. Yes, I had a couple of strange ones and a couple of bad ones. For the most part, my teachers were pretty good though. I felt sorry for my son’s teachers. He was such a handful, all the way through!

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