Friday, 12 February 2010

Ditto

Apparently there is a school that has banned Valentine cards to prevent the emotional trauma of rejection.

I don’t blame them.  In my experience Valentine’s Day sucks.

The promoted image of Valentine’s Day for the single person is the mountain of cards arriving on the doormat.  For couples the image is one of romantic weekends away and lavish gifts.

These images are not a reality for most people and the problem is men, and women.

Women, generally, are more prone to expressing love.  They are more likely to send Valentine cards, buy Valentine gifts, say “I love you”, prepare a romantic meal or night out or pretty much anything along these lines.

Men are less likely to send cards, buy gifts or put much effort into Valentine’s Day and are more prone to say “ditto” a la Patrick Swayze.

There are exceptions but from a woman’s perspective there is nothing worse than the petrol station or supermarket bought card and flowers which just says “I felt I ought to do this.”

From a man’s perspective I imagine there is nothing worse than feeling you ought to make an effort for Valentine’s Day when you have neither the time nor the inclination.

I have sent more Valentine’s cards that I have received.  That doesn’t make me feel good, it makes me feel awful.  I never awoke to a mountain of Valentine’s cards on the doormat and I don’t know anyone else who has either.

If I were to receive something that matches the promoted Valentine’s experience I don’t think I’d be happy, I think I’d be non-plussed because that is promoted as the expectation.  As this isn’t my experience then it’s just depressing and I think lots of people find the day is a low point.  This is why I can sympathise with the school’s decision to try and prevent emotional trauma.

If you’re single and you don’t want to be then don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to do some wooing.  Woo all the time because it makes you and your wooee happy.

If you’re in a relationship then don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to show your loved one that they are just that, loved.  Unexpected demonstrations of affection are far more effective and will be appreciated more. 

3 comments:

The Ample Cook said...

I dislike intensely how horrid and commercial Valentine's day has become.

It is far more romantic to recieve a token of someone's love when it is unexpected.

Pete Blanchard said...

With the exception of the last 2 paragraphs, I disagree.

Isn’t the problem with Valentine’s Day just one aspect of real life? I mean, as you grow up, you’re led to believe you’ll leave school, get a job, marry someone, have children, live a contented Terry-&-June life and live to a ripe old age.

Divorce, chronic illness, depression, single-parent families, and all the stuff you read about in the newspapers only happens to a minority of other people, right?

Wrong. You grow up and realise that you and your friends & family are exposed to all the crappier sides of life too. Valentine’s Day certainly is for many people a disappointment as you describe. But so is Christmas, with everyone supposedly living in a warm home, surrounded by family, gifts galore and enough food & drink to feed an African village for a week.

Except not everyone gets to have Xmas like that. Not everyone has a warm, safe home, enough money to buy the gifts and food, etc. But I wouldn’t say we should ban Xmas just so the poorer folk in society don’t feel bad about it.

Ann said...

I'll wager more people don't experience the picture perfect Valentine's Day than suffer Christmas disappointment. For most people in their life they've had some good Christmas experiences. But the comparison isn't overly fair if we consider Christmas to be something for people of a particular religious persuasion.
But Christmas has far too much saccharin so I do get your point, which I think isn't far off mine.
Valentine's Day sucks.