Wednesday, February 13, 2008
We approach Valentine's Day barraged with television commercials touting overpriced flowers and see stores packed with all matter of pre-landfill gifts. In my small town, little old country church ladies set up tents on the side of the road to sell pre-packaged gift baskets.
To tell the truth, I kinda feel sorry for the men at this time of year. So much pressure is put upon men to pony up for the unimaginative red roses, pay for the stoopid ass teddy bears, spring for ugly heart shaped jewelry and make romantic dinner reservations. Mind you, lots of men NEED prodding to do SOMEthing just this ONE day out of the year but still, do you really want something from your man because he feels pressured?
Once upon a time, I thought myself to be unromantic. First date arrives with red roses and chocolate? Ewww, the chump is trying too hard. Now I realize that I am romantic, just the high maintenance sort. At first glance, it would seem that I am easy to please: no red roses ever, no chocolates, no stoopid stuffed animals, no godforsaken balloons. MY sense of romance is flowers for no reason and nice unexpected gestures indicating that my honey was "just thinking" of me. One of the most romantic things given to me was a pin crafted of the metal cap from a champagne bottle. Sure, the boyfriend turned out to be an alcoholic but that pin was born of creativity and a desire to commemorate our first celebration.
A couple years ago, I heard a local disc jockey touting his demand for a reciprocal day-after- Valentine celebration, complete with, let's say, oral service and a steak. How horrible, I thought. He described walking in to his house and plopping on the sofa and waiting for his promised rewards. The whole scenario was the opposite of romance. After consideration, I realized that his version and the commercialized version are the same. Both are the expected (demanded?) receipts of unromantic and meaningless goods and services.
MY version of romance is higher maintenance that a once a year gesture.
MY version is year 'round.
MY version is more thoughtful.
MY version is a guy KNOWING that red roses will NEVER cut it and that tulips or hydrangeas would be better.
MY version has at least one refrigerated Coca-Cola (in the can).
MY version prefers oil paintings of monkeys over build-a-bears.
Then again, MY version leaves this single girl not expecting anything from anybody this Valentine's Day.