Skepticism Regarding Hallmark Holidays
Let me be blunt: I find Valentine's day to be silly in the very least. Ditto Mother's Day, Father's Day, Administrative Assistant's Day, and any other day you may care to name which involves obligatory gift-giving to some particular segment of society. But especially Valentine's day which, at this point in the evolution of man, seems little more than a marketing ploy by florists, jewelers, and makers of cheap chocolate. Allow me to elaborate.
Yesterday a co-worker reminded me that today was Valentine's day. I, being the pain-avoiding sort, dutifully fired up Das Intertuben and ordered the flowers etc. for delivery to the missus. The missus, upon receiving the flowers etc., was made happy. Duties discharged for another year in this regard I went and did some homework.
Some of you are now nodding in agreement, whilst the rest of you are undoubtedly thinking either "romance is dead" or "what a dick". Humor me, if you will, and let me explain myself. What, may I ask, did I prove to my wife by getting her the gifts?
That's the heart of my argument, that compulsory gift giving is essentially meaningless. I do nice things for my wife all the time without prompting, so why do I get bonus points for making with the gift giving on Valentine's day? Its not like it requires a whole lot of thoughtfulness on my part; the Valentine's day ads were all over the web reminding me that I had obligations to meet. Nor was the actual act of purchasing the gift difficult. I just had to click a button, enter my credit card number, and voila, roses delivered to my doorstep.
Delivering on the Valentine's Day gift doesn't prove anything about my relationship with my wife and yet, if I were to fail to deliver, my wife would be disappointed. She's not an irrational person... far from it... but she's been sucked into this silly ritual along with everyone else. When all is said and done it's just gives me one more reason to hate the stupidity of modern US society.