This morning I made a routine excursion to our local Walmart for necessities and I was disgusted to find the place overrun with frantic and overtired men at 8:30 in the morning. Yup, it’s Valentine’s Day and apparently scores of the members of the male population haven’t bought their presents yet, on the MORNING of the holiday. There were herds of panic-stricken men representing all ages and types hovering over the cards, flowers and repackaged Halloween candy. Each one genuinely agonizing over the purchase for their significant other.
At first glance the display may seem cute: “Aw look, hubby is trying to surprise his wife before she wakes up.” But keep in mind here, these “sincere, heartfelt” gifts are being purchased at the very last minute possible in Walmart. Isn’t this slightly horrifying? There is no thought, no sincerity and no happiness enjoyed in the choice of the gifts. They aren’t even shelling out the big bucks! It’s all begrudgingly bestowed because the men are obligated and afraid. I thought Valentine’s Day was supposed to be about mutual love, not the consequence of an insufficient gift. And another thing: Why would any woman want to receive such a gift? I for one, don’t.
I’d rather pass up all the Hallmark holidays and accompanying burdensome presents for random acts of kindness and love whenever the feeling strikes. Ladies, wouldn’t it be infinitely more exciting to find a tiny box loaded with special trinkets in your sweater drawer on a random Sunday? Or buy something simply because you know your man would like it and give it to him that very night, just because. Or perhaps write a little note during lunch hour and mail it to him, only because you were thinking of him at the time. What good is all this mandatory present giving doing us? I honestly don’t see the point.
I’m not saying I disapprove of Valentine’s Day and the sentiments it represents. In a conceptual sense, I wholeheartedly approve. It seems to me that our modern notion of it has strayed much too far from what it was meant to be. And far be it from me to advise anyone on relationships. I’ve never even had a boyfriend, for Pete’s sake. I know I’m a dopey Romantic who is more than likely living in a silly dreamworld. Even so, I just can’t help being appalled at this whole nonsensical rigmarole. It truly seems like everyone (men and women alike) is getting a raw deal here. Why not hold out for something better?