Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Have we really become that stupid?

At the risk of revealing myself as the miserable grinch that I really am, can the record please state what a complete load of marketing horseshit I think Valentine's Day has evolved into?

Don't get me wrong, I am not at all against people showing their love for each other. Hearing that my grandfather used to put a rose from the garden on my grandmother's breakfast tray on Valentine's Day, I think is beautiful. But I'm sorry, when the Chicago Tribune is saying stuff like, 'Maybe you're not ready for an engagement ring. And heart-shaped necklaces are so predictable. Why not tell her you'll love her till the end of time with a watch covered in flowers? Or maybe you just need to spell it out for her—in an arty way', it just makes me want to kill myself slowly.

A CBS 60 Minutes journalist discovered stuff saying, 'Say Valentine, be mine with a GE steam iron” … “Say it with pizza” … “Nothing says I love you like a new multi-cycle washer.” Another ad disagreed, claiming: “Nothing says I love you like our succulent veal parmigiana.” Not to mention: “Surprise your Valentine with Monroe shock absorbers.”

Underlying message.

We will commercialise any day on the calendar and say any shit whatsoever if it will move stock.
I remember a woman telling me very proudly that her husband gave her a convertible on Valentine's Day. I wanted to weep. And not because I was envious.

It seems we've strayed along way from the times when people used to celebrate it with cards, chocolate and wild flowers. There are loads of different stories around about how it evolved, I think one of my personal favourites is the one where Roman Emperor Claudius II allegedly ordered that all young men remain single cause he thought this would grow a good strong army, believing that married men made rubbish soldiers. The priest Valentine thought this idea sucked so went about secretly performing marriage ceremonies for young men. When I-Have-An-Army-Of-Horny-Stallions-Hear-Me-Roar-Claudius found out about this he decided it was 'off with his head' for poor old Valentine. The story goes that Valentine got the hots for the jailer's daughter and the evening before he was to be topped Valentine wrote the first valentine to the jailer's daughter. It was a note that read 'From your Valentine'.

Poor old headless Valentine, I wonder if he realised the can of worms he was opening.


Holemaster said...

"Surprise your Valentine with Monroe shock absorbers.”

That would be a surprise alright.

My friend's mother got a trailer load of horse manure from her husband for her birthday once. She was delighted (a gardener of course).

laughykate said...

Heh. Brilliant.

I once was given ten dozen roses (not on Valentine's Day).

My then-boyfriend had arrived at the dump as the same time as the florist!

Holemaster said...