Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love? Hype? Hallmark?

This weekend is Valentine's Day and, of course, it makes for a good Girl Talk Thursday topic.

Love it? Stab it? Whatev?

I've never really been big on Valentine's Day. In grade school it was just a popularity contest. And when it wasn't a popularity contest you spent lots of time addressing tiny little cards to every person in your classroom. Everyone got one or no one got one. And those boxes of card? They're expensive!

As an adult I really do hate the commercial hype surrounding the day. Cards are expensive, and campy or sappy. Restaurants sell out for the night and book reservations sometimes months in advance. Roses are absolutely ridiculously priced. Chocolate, conversation hearts - all temp us away from the New Years Resolutions we made six weeks earlier. And don't get me started on the tacky jewelry commercials with horrible, worse-than-soap-opera actors professing their undying love to each other while giving over-marketed, mass produced (so therefore unoriginal) necklaces and pendants. As a marketer I can appreciate the "Every Kiss Begins with Kay" slogan for Kay Jewelers. It's clever. But that's about the only thing clever coming out of that brand. Maybe it's just me, and because I don't live in that fantasy land portrayed by those commercials they make me want to stick my finger down my throat and, well, vomit. Forced sentiment does not sit well with me.

Now that we have kids I am getting in to it a little more. I love that Bug knows what a Valentine is now and that he's decided to be Daddy's Valentine and declared Bear to be mine. I love that he knows it's a day to say "I love you" to the people he loves. And yeah, I bought them both a little present to have on that day. Nothing huge, just something for them. And I'll buy them each a little chocolate too. But that's it. I want them to grow up to love us every day, to appreciate us, each other and our family and friends, all the time, not just because a card company declared a day on the calendar to do so.

The good things about Valentine's Day? It's nice to have a day set aside to let the people you love know you love them. It's nice to do something special. But I don't believe it has to be on February 14th every year. I say make your own personal Valentine's Day and keep it every year. Uh, hey honey, do you want to do this? I never really thought about doing this until now... :)

So do I love it? No. Do I want to stab it? No. Whatev?! Not that either. I think it's a necessary evil. I think a lot of people need it, to know it's on the calendar. I think we, as a society, are so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we need to be told to stop, and to take a moment or two for love.