Note at the top: I get tired of trying to point out how screwed up everything is all the time, so today I'm going to take a break and enjoy this most special holiday.
Remember back in the day when the only people who went green were the neighbors down the street with all those horrible olive green kitchen appliances?
Back then, you brought some goofy little cards to school and handed them out to everyone, even the creepy kids. When you got home that night, if your parents weren't fighting, they sent you to bed early and then rummaged through the junk drawers looking for the key to 'mommy and daddy's happy cabinet.'
Then you got a little older and you didn't get any Valentine's cards, but you thought everyone else did so your self-esteem plummeted. Eventually you had a significant other and that first Valentine's Day together you went out of your way to show him/her what a true romantic you were, even though you're not romantic, you're a liar. The year after that you maybe went to dinner, and if you were lucky enough to trick your significant other into staying with you long term, you spent the next few years running out at lunch time to get a card.
Then something happened.
Advertising stepped in and made everyone's life miserable. There is no way normal, regular men on a regular-guy salary can keep up with the demands of the jewelry stores and Japanese luxury automobile manufacturers to make their partners happy at Christmas, New Year's and a month and a half later at Valentine's Day.
Now, the partners of regular men on a regular-guy salary feel unloved and stuck with a loser of a heartless jerk because they're not getting jewelry for Valentine's Day. But ladies, seriously, after we buy you the Lexus with the big bow on it, followed by the Jane Seymour Heart-to-Heart pendant and then whatever that Navy pilot on the aircraft carrier had his kid run out and buy for his lady back home, we're friggin' broke. How the hell are we supposed to compete with a hunky Navy fighter pilot and some rich dude who not only has the money to buy you a Lexus, he can get the Lexus theme song uploaded onto his Guitar Hero? We told you we were going to put our clothes in the hamper and not go to strip clubs for a few weeks, and yet somehow, you're not satisfied.
The chart below explains how Valentine's Day works in this day of non-stop media guilt-tripping:
I am romantic, but I also have this incredible personality flaw that keeps me from rolling over every time someone comes on my television and tells me how I should live.
People decorate their houses for Halloween now because Wal-Mart carries the cool little decorations you just have to have. At Christmas, we decorate our homes to make Clark Griswald look like Jackie Mason. And if we're not buying jewelry and luxury cars we're just not keeping up with society.
We get brainwashed by the news media. We get brainwashed by the advertisers who pay for the news media. And all this brainwashing gets us are feelings of inadequacy. Stop being used by merchants.
Happy Valentine's Day. Go tell the people you love that you love them, and maybe do something nice for your honey. Just don't go to Target at lunch...all the good cards are sold out.