It sounds like a heartwarming idea on the surface…a day to express your love. On Valentine’s Day, I took a walk around the city and watched the activity. At a flower stand, two guys were talking and laughing about how they were buying their women the same pre-made flower arrangement. When one of them left, he walked over to a car, where his girlfriend was literally in the divers seat, showed her the flowers, she slightly smiled and they drove off.
Conan O’Brien tweeted on Valentine’s Day what the comic reality is, “A survey found that, on Valentine’s Day, men spend $87.00 more than women. I.e., a survey found that, on Valentine’s Day, men spend $87.00.”
Let’s be honest, if a corporation has to tell you when or how to express your love for someone, then you don’t have love; you are giving a bribe. What that guy from the first paragraph was telling his girlfriend was essentially, “Here are some flowers as a token of appreciation for letting me touch you and screw you on a regular basis.” Her response was of course, “Thank you. You have done your duty. I don’t view myself as a whore so I won’t exchange any physical affection at this moment but as a reward, instead of looking around for someone else, I will temporarily let this pattern continue…. of course not right now.”
Why is this holiday insidious? Because it makes people feel like they have to conform to an institution’s suggested rituals to keep the (pseudo) love going? Because they mindlessly follow their instructions, like sheep? Because in doing so they lose sight of the reality or existence of true emotions and lose sight of their instincts to recognize if the other person even likes them? Because both men and women brainwash themselves into thinking that the exchange of gifts for affection is the way it should be? There’s more.
Take a guess where Valentine’s Day started? Take a guess. Believe it or not, while its run by businesses today, it didn’t start there. What institution on this planet has created another holiday telling people to give gifts in exchange for emotion? That’s right, the church. The same people that imposed Christmas on the world which is a holiday that does the same thing. Christmas, another holiday that has come down to people spending money in exchange for love and friendship. In a way, this is actually quite comedic since churches scorn prostitution but create these rituals which essentially follow the same patterns.
We try to justify it all by saying that these holidays boost the economy so much, that they actually save the economy and thus our society. But that justification is the same that a drug addict says to themself about needing more drugs. What if the holidays didn’t exist? Then our economy wouldn’t have adjusted to require these large boosts. The economy would have been more stable and uniform throughout the year, so people would have adjusted to that stable income level and made it work for themselves and their businesses. The only thing these holidays do are to get a few people and corporations at the top richer and to achieve that added income, essentially act like a drug to the economy. Consequently, now without that drug fix, the economy has what it feels are problems.
There is hope though. I ran into a couple talking about how they don’t subscribe to this holiday either. The woman told her husband, standing next to her, that she didn’t want flowers or anything. When I told them it was nice to hear, we conversed and she eventually told me that the trick is to find a woman who also doesn’t want gifts in exchange for affection and won’t subscribe to rules dictated by institutions. This glimmer of hope for us all is that there are still a few people who can think independently and are secure in themselves.