Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Look At Valentine's Day

Holidays are always filled with expectations. Christmas has presents, Thanksgiving has turkey, and the fourth of July has fireworks, but Valentine’s Day is the one most filled with peril. Anyone who has a special someone has faced the problem of what to do to show they care, knowing full well that if they botch it, they will be fighting bad feelings for at least a month, and in the case of your wife, as they tend to have much longer memories, the rest of the year. Flannery has spelled it out, in no uncertain terms, that I cannot f*ck it up again this year as I have done in years past. If I get it wrong I will be sleeping in the shed, or the Jeep.

I have always maintained that Valentine’s Day was a “Hallmark” holiday and was simply invented to sell cards, candy, and flowers in February when business was slow. It turns out I was right. The holiday was on the Catholic calendar since the year 496 AD., but it didn’t have any romantic connotations until the poet Chaucer wrote about it in the fourteenth century in his poem “Parliament of Foules”. No one paid it much attention until 1847 when Esther Howland, the daughter of a Massachusetts stationary seller, coaxed her father into mass producing Valentines embossed with paper lace. Leave it to an American to invent a holiday to sell cards, so much so that the industry has an “Esther Howland Award for Greeting Card Visionary” that they have been giving away since 2001. I’m sure the Puritans came to America just so they could make a killing by inventing a holiday and peddling turkeys to the world. We are always looking for ways to make a quick buck.

Needless to say, I never thought that much of this holiday and in checking with my married friends neither do they, well at least the men don’t. The wives however pine for the days of their courtship and the trinkets and tokens that came with it. My mother-in-law is always quick to remind me that the courtship is never over, no matter how long you have been married. So this is a task forever unfinished ‘til death do you part.

I argue that I daily make it a point to tell her I love her. Daily, I make it a point to show her I love her. I clean her dishes, her house, her children, and her underwear. I go to work so that I may provide the lifestyle that she has become accustomed to. I attend family get-togethers that I would rather skip. I fix meals that only she likes. I put up with her crazy uncles that I would like to punch in the nose. Hell, I’ve even composed poems to explain the depth of my love for her. And yet, all of this is not enough.

I must do more, and I have to do it on February fourteenth. But truth be told, she is worth it, and oh so very much more.



  1. That post almost melted my icy blue heart.

  2. Great news for Flannery, Doc. Hallmark has discovered that this year's "Fellatio Friday For Guys" falls on March 14, exactly a month after Valentine's Day. They don't sell cards, but they sell these little kits filled with Mazola oil and latex gloves plus some other stuff (I forget what the other stuff is; I was distracted). You may have to make up your own kit if Hallmark is sold out.

  3. There's nothing worse than forced sentimentality. Hallmark has turned Valentines Day into a celebration of forced sentimentality.

  4. I can paraphrase that closing paragraphh: "My wife reads my blog."

  5. Well thanks a hell of a lot for setting the bar unbelievably high for the rest of us Doc!

  6. How can Flannery help but feel flattered when given a Valentine's Day gift as freely and lovingly given as yours must surely be?

  7. Nothing says Hallmark like the pie in the face you gave her (to throw at you) on your anniversary. I'm sure you will think of something just right.

  8. Doc, we grew up watching Cary Grant saying the perfect thing at the perfect moment, accompanied by the perfect gesture. We yearn for romance and The Big Gesture. She's worth the fuss, isn't she? And don't you have a little bit of Mr. Grant in your soul?

  9. I was going to ::hic:: buy some flowers when I was out shopping today but I thought, ::hic:: "$12 for something that's just gonna sit in water, get spilled and DIE?!" I mean ::hic:: where's the sense in THAT?! Hell, that's just ::hic:: crazy talk!!

    SOOOO I bought lots of ::hic:: BEER instead. I mean, beer she'll like, too. An I'm a-gonna ::hic:: invite th' neighbours over tomorrow to prove we're not as ::hic:: free-kee as they prolly ::hic:: think we is. In the long run, ::hic:: isn't that the better decision?? I mean, ::hic:: we have to look to the future sometimes...

  10. beckeye- I don't think your heart is as icy blue as you think it is dear.

    Cooper Green- And all this time I thought that the only thing that blew in March was the wind. I'm marking the 14th on my calender.

    Gifted typist- Amen.

    Bsuwg- Busted. You got me.

    Skyler's Dad- The tone of this post didn't come up quite like I planned. I was complaining that I shouldn't have to do anything for "V" day as I do it all year long, but I just set myself up for a lot of work instead. I just shot myself in the foot didn't I?

    Vikkitikkitavi- I hope she feels flattered. I can't afford jewelery this year. Any suggestions? I've run through my bag of tricks.

    GkL- I thought of buying more pies but I think that one has been played out. Any suggestions?

    Elizabeth- Are you suggesting I don't love my wife?

    Beth- Do I have a little Cary Grant in my soul? Well yes, just a little, but it is mostly U.S. Grant and he isn't much help. What grand gesture would you like?

    Hot Lemon- I'm with you, screw flowers. What a waste. But you've got to do better than beer. Don't treat your love like a hangover waiting to happen.

    FA- Good!


  11. I like the angry women at work who don't receive the public vote of love with flowers being delivered every year and the "I'm going to kill him when I get home" protestations of love. Makes it all worthwhile.

  12. You know I've come up blank, so far, this year as well. [Wife #1] knows my feelings on this and related holidays, so I don't think much is expected, but I can't do nothing. Right?

  13. I think Valentine's Day is a great idea because it gives us a chance to do something "out of the norm" for our significant other. It's no different than Mother's Day or Veteran's Day; we recognize that person's specific contribution to our lives.
    Things like cleaning the house and taking out the garbage or warming up the car for the wife so she doesn't have to go out in the cold and do it....those kinds of things are what we have to do to maintain the relationship all year round. Valentine's Day is meant for going outside of the don't buy your Mom flowers all year long, right? But we do on Mother's Day.

    The problem is that Valentine's Day has been commercialized like Christmas and Easter before it and the general public is getting soured on feeling forced to buy shit all the time.

    That's all I got.


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