Saturday, February 14, 2009

I just can't help it

I really did promise myself that I wouldn't go off on any Anti-Hallmark-Holiday rants about Valentine's Day, but so many people have inflicted their wishes that I should have a happy Valentine's Day today that I just can't keep that promise and my own sanity at the same time...

First and foremost, I have to say that being the capitalist that I am, I have no problem with businesses capitalizing on special occasions. But does it have to be every business? Do we really believe that our "special someone" would appreciate a gift card to a convenience store? Or to any restaurant that doesn't have a somewhat ambient/romantic atmosphere? Isn't it bad enough that we get pummeled by the ads from the jewelery, lingerie, greeting card, and chocolate industries? Must we be inundated by all of the peripheral stuff as well?
I give up.
As far as I'm concerned this is just another reflection of how dismal our society has become. That we need to be reminded on a particular day, each year, that we ought to show some special affection to someone that we care about. Why aren't we doing it everyday? And why do we need all of the ads? Could it be because so many people don't really know what it is that their significant other would really like?
And what about those of us who have no significant other? Do the people who wish us a "Happy Valentine's Day" even know, or care, that it can pretty much come across like a slap in the face when you're not with anyone? Don't they notice that none of our purchases are even remotely related to romance or Valentine's Day? This is the one time of the year when I would be just fine with a generic "Happy Holiday" or "Season's Greetings" when I shop. Maybe I should sue someone...

I've been forced to think about today, with a certain amount of loneliness and reluctance. Forced by people who either have someone to show their affections to, or who have something to gain from reminding others to spend some money. And I keep coming back to the idea that it's all like those spam/junk/chain e-mails that people send out to everyone in their address book. And it doesn't seem to matter whether they have a solid friendship with you or if you're just a passing acquantance. Everybody gets their e-mail and they get the satisfaction of feeling like they've gone through you some labor of love for you. As if some e-mail telling you to pass it along truly consititutes our faith in God, love for Jesus, or support of our troops. If we really do these things, then we don't need some pathetic e-mail to remind our friends of that, they already know it because of our everyday actions. All they've really done is give you something to drop in the trash later on, and maybe even a sense that there's something wrong with all of it.

And I guess that's my point. If your everyday actions don't demonstrate your genuine love to those around you, then how does today make it any different? Why is today a better day to do that? Isn't there something wrong with our relationships if we're not showing the ones we care about that we're here everyday? And if we're only doing it for the day, why bother at all? It won't matter tomorrow...

OK, once again - as I have in earlier years, I wish those of you who have someone to share the day with, and perhaps even to enjoy a little exceptional romance with, please, by all means, enjoy it with them. But don't let this be the only day you share that affection with them. Make a daily habit of it.
And for those of you who don't have anyone in particular to share the day with. Take comfort in knowing that you're not alone in it.
As for me; yeah, I'm feeling a little lonely today. But I'm still trusting God that it's only a temporary situation. And I will be spending my Valentine's Day showing my genuine love for some people that I do care about; I'll be staffing a table for Compassion at an event downtown this evening. And I don't need a holiday to do that, either...

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Blogger One Wink at a Time said...

Excellent post Michael. Truly.

5:26 PM  
Blogger M+ said...

I do try. And this one just kinda popped into my head (possibly my heart too), but it worked out so well and says so much.

7:55 PM  

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