Monday, February 9, 2009

My love is ruled by evil market forces

Yesterday Eve and her friend from next door (her name is Victoria but Eve usually calls her Fictoria, which amuses me; it makes it sound like she could be imaginary) were picking dolls to take next door to play with. Victoria had a girl doll and Eve said "but don't you want a boyfriend?" Victoria said no, and Eve said, "well, too bad you're gonna miss out on all the love!"
Don't you feel like all the restaurants and retailers in the world are saying that to everyone that chooses not to observe the massive fromage-fest that is Valentine's Day? I know this isn't fresh or original, but I was just talking to my best friend on the phone and I suddenly realized I hate Valentine's Day even more than I thought I did. For single people, it's a giant kick in the teeth from a world that already bombards them constantly with images of cutesy couples and nausea-inducing nuclear families. For newly coupled people it's waaaay too much pressure (what does it mean if I do this? if I do that? If I do nothing? An otherwise promising romance could be crushed flat under the weight of all those sub-standard waxy chocolates, stuffed red poodles and cards full of bad puns). For the comfortably long-term partners, it seems like it should be no big deal: we've been married for twelve years without mutilating each other beyond recognition, we shouldn't need overpriced floral arrangements to show our love, right? That's totally how I feel, and if we do something I always feel like we're just caving in to sleazy marketing engines -- and yet, if we don't, I always feel kind of lame. Obviously, it's impossible to win (when you're wishy-washy and easy influenced, like I am. Clearly all you people lucky enough to have firm and unswayable opinions are fine).
When we were in university, my boyfriend (who I later married and now call 'hon' or 'dumbass' depending on the tenor of the conversation) made me one of those -- now I don't know what they're called -- those things kids make out of folded paper where you stick your fingers in and depending on what number you end up with there are different answers? Anyway, it was cute (I'm pretty sure I didn't think he was just cheap). My friend whose bastard husband walked out when the kids were two and five months is in a new relationship. She's decided to have the kids for Valentine's Day (way to go, Z!) The first year we had Angus we ordered dinner from a catering company in Ottawa that offered dinner for two packed in adorable little containers with main courses and sauces and drizzles and came with instructions for preparing it all. This was less to celebrate our love than to be able to eat something that wasn't cold, slobbered on, or three days old.
Maybe it's not totally terrible to have a small reminder on the calendar to stop and do a little momentary cherishing. But we shouldn't have to risk death in the card aisle at Shopper's Drug Mart or break into flower stores after hours for it. That said, you know I'm sticking that crooked heart-shaped card dripping with glue from my daughter on the fridge. And if you come over you better say it's adorable.

2 comments:

alison said...

LOL @ Fictoria. Yeah, I think VDay is way over-rated. And not in the sour-grapes, I'm-on-my-own kind of way either. It raises expectations in some people that are hard to meet. And I can only imagine the angst of the newly relationshipped at this time of year. (I know, I made that word up, but I'm not at work, so it's allowed.)

I do like getting the VDay cards from my girls, and I always buy them some chocolate, but other than that, I could live without it.

This site is good for a laugh: http://www.meish.org/vd/

Anonymous said...

I've screwed up yet again 'cause I'm reading this at work where I don't have a google account (and I'm guessing that our corporate policies would frown on getting a google account) so I'm going to post anonymously. For the record I'm really the Z mentioned in the post. And let me tell you - the rush of near fame in being referred to in your blog is pretty heady. Also, I like how some of my fairly mundane comments are now much more amusing in your hands (yep, I'm also the one who is incapable of telling a joke - well, I can tell a joke, it's just not very funny once I'm done with it. Z