By Terez Williamson / Smartly Smitten
I freely admit I hate Valentine’s Day.
I hate the superficial sentimentality created around it. But most of all, I hate it is yet another holiday which has been hijacked by the voracious, for-profit appetite of corporations.
Christmas is the only other holiday advertisers spend more effort on to convince you the ultimate expression of love is the spending of money.
Unfortunately, they seem to be succeeding.
In 2012, Americans alone spent an estimated 17.6 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day.
In fact, during the days immediately after December 25th, many big box retailers transform their stores from winter wonderlands to crimson hued, paper heart covered shrines.
However, the true litmus test to the effectiveness of the commercialization of the holiday can be found in the answer to this one question (and be honest):
Would you be upset if your significant other bought you absolutely nothing on Valentine’s Day?
If you are like most of us, you would be. This isn’t a judgment, but a testimony to the powerful influence of advertising and marketing.
February 14th has become the day many women use to validate their relationship, while men feel confident they are going to be rewarded for their gift-giving efforts by getting laid. Sounds cynical, but for many couples this is reality.
It may be yours.
When I lived in Memphis, I was employed with a pediatric hospital for several years. I worked closely with a wonderful woman named Darlene. At that time, she and her husband had been married for over 25 years.
During each Valentine’s Day, I noticed the parade of flower and candy deliveries never stopped at her desk. One year I asked her “Darlene, does your husband ever do anything special for you today?”
She looked at me, gave me her 100-watt smile, and said “Oh no! My husband and I always express our love for each other throughout the year. Early on in our marriage we decided specifically not to exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day. Let’s just say we celebrate the spirit of the holiday year round!”
There are 365 days in the year. 365 opportunities to express your love and gratitude to your partner.
Imagine how much closer you and your significant other would be if you both mutually decided, as Darlene so eloquently put it, to celebrate the spirit of Valentine’s Day year round?
This is the most important reason why this year, you should kill Cupid. Kick that chubby little bastard to the curb. Refuse to continue to buy into the heart shaped, chocolate dipped, money grubbing agendas of greedy corporations.
Each day you have together with your partner is incredibly precious. Remember this and love accordingly.