Every year, in the middle of February, we get slapped in the face by an avalanche of adverts telling us to shop like it’s about to rationed. Never mind the fact that your bank account has only just been take off life support following the Christmas ‘fun’.
February 14th is a day of love. It’s a day where you can show you care. It’s also a day where huge sums of money are spent as you try to convince a certain person to have sex with you – because you’re worth it.
But as you’ve probably guessed most of the original meaning behind Valentine’s Day has been corrupted. Let’s look at how big business barged in on the party and made it all about them…
Valentine’s Day Is About Death
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that Valentine’s Day was originally established following some outpouring of love – ok, it was but there’s more. The date marks the day that Valentine was executed.
Little is known about Valentine. Reports suggest he was a Roman priest who was marrying soldiers in secret. For some reason, the Emperor of the time, Claudius, had forbidden soldiers the right to marry. Apparently all that legitimate hanky panky affected their ability to fight efficiently even though wholesale rape and pillaging was actively encouraged.
After being imprisoned, the soon to be saint fell in love with his warders daughter. On the day he was executed he handed her a letter professing his undying love – obviously, that sentiment didn’t last long.
Big business has done a really good job of glossing over the minor likelihood that its most significant benefactor was probably crucified before being coated in tar and set alight.
Chocolates Are a Declaration of Love
Nothing screams, “Holy crap, I forgot the date.” louder than a tacky box of chocolates you bought from a corner shop on the way home. In fact, your organisational skills suck so bad that you missed closing time by 5 minutes and ended up paying over the odds for a dusty box of chocolate from a petrol station.
Putting aside your manly inclination to forget anything that doesn’t revolve around you – who decided that chocolate, would become the de facto gift? Have you ever heard you wife shout, “I’m a little peckish. To keep my hunger pangs at bay I’ll demolish a house sized box of chocolates in under and hour”? Unless you cohabit with Jabba the Hut, this is unlikely.
So who is responsible? The chocolate manufacturers, of course. Every year the weeks running up to the 14th February are a shitstorm of adverts extolling the virtues of a one day chocolate diet. Sure, you loved one may suffer from stomach cramps and diarrhoea afterwards but it’s good for them – the chocolatiers of the world can vouch for this.
Manufacturers have convinced us that you’re not simply giving a gift. No, what you hold in your hands is actually the food of the gods. Forget any notion that it’s potentially addictive – it’s good for you.
Expensive Cards Are Essential
Back when I was a kid, a big part of any celebration was making your own cards. Hours were spent brainstorming ideas, cutting, gluing and assembling your work of art. 5 minutes later, after a crazed session with a box of Crayola, it looked like crap. Happy days.
Even now, there are few bold individuals who are prepared to put their neck on the line and conjure up what they see as an amazing piece of art. Let’s put this into perspective: have you ever wondered if that exclamation of, “It’s beautiful” is real? I’ll break this to you gently – it’s not.
You see, the recipient of your hours of blood, sweat and tears has become blinded by clever marketing and advertising. All the time and love you put into this beautiful creation didn’t even hit ‘apathy’ on the excitometer. It’s almost like their eyes are doing the job of their mouth and shouting “WTF!”
Have you guessed who caused your entire world to collapse? That’s right, it’s the high street vultures like Clinton Cards and Hallmark that have been poisoning your loved ones mind and forcing them to only accept really expensive cards as a sign of your love.
Jewellery Is The Rich Man’s Chocolate
There comes a point in most mens lives when it feels like a pair of pliers has been clamped to your testicles and slowly squeezed. The ever growing pressure starts to get really uncomfortable and you finally dive in. It’s time to buy that diamond ring your amour has been desperate to show off on their left hand! Once you’ve finally parted with an eye watering sum of money you’ll see the feeling of relief wash over your partners face as they remove the threat of castration without anaesthetic.
Who made jewellery one of the must have gifts on Valentine’s Day? Companies like De Beers can hold their hands up to this one. The British diamond mining company has been delighting women and bankrupting men for over 100 years. Remember the ad slogan, “A Diamond Is Forever”? That was De Beers’s.
Let’s face it, if you believe Superman then diamond is no more important that a small piece of coal. Ok, when I say “important” you want to ignore the fact that this piece of carbon powered the Industrial Revolution and just think of it as a piece of stone.
But in you partners eye’s, presenting a ring with a massive cluster of these stones in the middle is like screaming, ‘I’m incredibly rich and even more stupid. Have my children then take me for everything I’m worth.
Dating Agencies Are Essential To The Course Of True Love
The run up to Valentine’s Day is like some kind of mass hysteria for advertisers. We’re bombarded with an ever increasing number of ads for this year’s dose of relationship improving goodies. Flowers will fix all your broken promises. Chocolates will make up for you cleaning out your partner’s tropical fish tank with caustic soda (I’m assuming that really was an accident). A diamond ring will convince both of you that it really is love and not just narcissism. Then the dating agencies join in.
Personally, for just once, I’d like to see an advert that tells the truth. If your members really do have the highest number of marriages could you please tell me how many stay together? How old are they? I mean, are they just getting it on because, well, they’re getting on and don’t want to be alone?
Oh, I’d also like to hear about the stories and the tales of delusional guys and girls who turn up to a date stinking of sweat and expecting sex at the end of the night. In particular, I want stories about the arrogant helicopter pilot who thinks that all of life revolves around him.
I don’t think I need to explain what the dating websites have done to the spirit of Valentine or why they have done it.