Updated: Mar 17, 2021
Greeting Card from the early 1900's
I don’t really buy into the Valentine’s farce, but I also don’t see the point of shitting all over it either. This may be an indictment of me more than the poor saps that feel the compulsion to run out to buy plush animals and chocolate on the chance of getting lucky. Now I will be going out to eat to “celebrate” but Valentines’ that falls on a Friday this year, so chances are we would have gone out to eat anyway. It’s the one night that absolves me from kitchen duty.
They’ll be no chocolate covered bullshit with red boxes or spray-painted flowers. With some 34 odd Valentines’ days under my belt, I do believe it to be an overexposed consumer invention geared toward kids and suckers. To that end, why aren’t we making more of a celebration of Daylight Savings’ in the fall, I mean we’re collectively given an extra hour of sleep! It can be tabled the same way. Retailers could have fancy pillow sales, cozy blanket displays, the heavy carb dinners are still in play, a whole untapped greeting card market and a semi-mandatory midnight snack party, I’ll digress. If you have someone special in your life, then carpe diem. If you’re not currently in a relationship, don’t feel bad.
St Valentine, 1904
By Maxfield Parrish
Tempra on gesso board
I Remember when my boys were much younger Valentines’ posed more of a true holiday. It’d take a nominal amount of planning and execution. Valentines’ were multimedia products of print media, photos, foam, etc. The boys were actively engaged in the making of the symbol of love for their Mama Bear. If it wasn’t a tangible Valentine’s it would be an eatable one. When the boys would get home from school, we’d construct heart shaped pizzas with “I love you” spelled out in veggie pepperoni.
Now they’re 19 and 17 respectively, and it seems that they’ve gotten away from these types of things and fallen victim to the consumerism trap of buying a bunch of useless crap in lieu of the meaningful endeavors that were good enough for their mother but not their girlfriends that they’ve had for six minutes.
We’ve done couples painting at RPS to celebrate Valentine’s day, the gift of experience is a little better than trinkets, but I’m a little jaded I guess. Maybe to clarify, taking time to acknowledge a person you love is not a fallacy, but I don’t need to supermarkets awash in red or the Lifetime channel telling me I should.
Isn’t everyday Valentines’ day, just like everyday is Mother’s or Father’s Day? Hopefully not everyday is St. Patrick’s Day, but you get the point.
Another greeting card cover from once upon time...
Again, I’m not looking to denigrate those who joyfully celebrate Valentine’s Day. In fact I guess I’m saying (like I always do), paint together or cook together or do that “fun” thing together. If you do go out to dinner, don’t talk shop. Instead talk about your collective plans and dreams of your future. Like a heart (the western culture symbol of love), check the pulse of your loving relationship. If you haven’t got a dinner reservation by the time you read this, you better know what you’re cooking Friday night.