Valentines day... a conversation

This morning, I was in an IM conversation with my good pal La'Donicca (kekekeke) about the goings on of this coming weekend to commence in about 6 hours as of when I type this sentence. When I typed this part of it is important when one considers what will commence.
I explained that The Katie and I had plans to go to the Circus on Sunday...

me: so I will change the subject
Katie and I are going to the circus Sunday
La'Donicca: Okay
That sounds like fun.
Well.
Actually
The idea of it sounds fun but I remember going as a kid and all I could remember was the smell
Lol
me: damn, man
La'Donicca: But it does sound very sweet. Is that valentine's day?
me: happens to be
La'Donicca: I meant was that planned for you all's valentine's day
me: actually, no
it was planned because the circus comes to greensboro in february
La'Donicca: Ok
me: just happens to have been valentines for 2 years consecutive
La'Donicca: Right
me: no flowers, candy or cards or none of that shit
La'Donicca: Uh huh
me: if you want to count anything, I paid for another gig of RAM in her computer and she bought me a couple hats, a chess set and a watch storage case, but those were week before last and last week, respectively, lol
La'Donicca: Well the good thing that you seem to have in mind is the fact that if ur an awesome boyfriend all year, valentine's day isn't even that deep. At least with the good girls :)
me: that has been my point all along, you know that
and I imparted that on her immediately after we met
La'Donicca: Yep
Uh huh
me: I don't believe in making up for fuckups, I believe in not fucking up
La'Donicca: Yep

What we discussed before and after that exchange, making up only about 10 minutes of the IM exchange, is none of your damned business.
[Phlip note - Pulp Fiction, then Family Guy before, Chicken Pox after]

The whole while, I sat here wasting away on a Friday WANTING to pound out a blog, but with nothing to write about...
Bingo, that was IT!!!
So, with that said, I fired off a couple emails, a few different IMs and one Facebook status update soliciting the opinions -- of both men and women, single and involved, straight and not straight -- "Does valentines day actually matter? Why or why not?" and then sat back to watch the resulting responses. I know I never mentioned that the responses would be used for a blog, but anyone who knows me knows that anything that ever happens in my internet life, line of sight or otherwise is subject to make the blog, simple as that...

And now, a sampling of the responses...

First was a former co-worker, Dominik, married 5ish years, I think:

"Nope. Loving someone and showing affection, etc. should and must be an EVERYday requirement when you love your mate. If you have to wait to hear "I love you" or receive anything on Valentine's day..Houston we have a problem..I'm just saying..."

Next came my best friend on the planet, Roger, single:

"@ phlip, u know how i feel. Hell, i spoke on it yesterday. But fundementally, it doesnt matter at all imho. Its cool and all, but, for instance, if a guy is being great to u and gets a woman a card and maybe another little thing for the day, and SHE is all but hurt he didnt teach 150 pigeons to spell out "i love u" in the sky while at the same waka flocka flame sings a rendition of 112's " cupid", he needs to find another damn woman. Her priorities are effed up....."

[Phlip note - the crowd dies with laughter, we have been saying shit like this for 15+ years now]

After that was my sister, Regina, recently married:

"It has never been a big deal to me. If you can only do nice things for me one day out of the year, you can kick rocks. Plus I don't like flowers or the nasty ass candy :-))"
And a swift followup in response to Roger:
"I love you Roger, you hit the nail on the head. It is a slap in the face if that is the only day he can do something special for you."

[Phlip note - you can tell sometimes that we were raised by the same people if what I am to understand is our being told we look alike wasn't enough]

Next up was friend by way of some other friends, Joi, who I THINK has a boyfriend:

"doesn't matter a dam thing to me... serious... and not because I'm bitter or something... just because I don't need a day to tell me that I love someone... or that I should buy them something. It's all for profit and not about love... I'm about love everyday... "

After her was an email response from the homie T-Dott:

"I think it does but the difference is that for me it's about having a higher level of intimacy so this 1 calendar day doesn't cause a major stir in your relationships routiune. I do little stuff like sending my girl cards in the mail. Instead of paying Proflowers $100 I go to the $10 for a dozen spot pick up 2 dozen deliver them myself & take her to lunch, this plays into the emotional side of her & lets me use the logical side of me (save a lil dough). Not to mention she gets all the props from the ladies at her job because I put her emotional need first & I've done this not on Valentine's day, just a day I was off. Valentine's day is a hand picked day to celebrate Love but when you have someone who holds you down all year long the sentiments of this day should be expressed throughout just because."

Next was another former co-worker, Mandy, married last I checked:

"Valentines Day is a commercial event, capitalism at its finest. True love is expressed daily, not just one day a year. But if you want to celebrate, dont be like everyone else...Roses are so cliche. I would rather have a vase of daisies or lillies than a rose. I would rather have a handwritten letter than a card. And Kay Jewelers does not express emotions. It shows how much money you had available. I guess I'm low maintenance and emotional though. Heartfelt, sincere, sappy romance is better than a store bought gift any day. "

[Phlip note - I guess I am more popular with people I no longer work with than I can willingly concede to being... Stranger things have happened, I guess]

After that came the facebook comment, solicited via IM, from Barri (that was a link, click it and subscribe to her), single:

"I mean if someone is punching you in the nose (spiritually and physically) on the 13th, does i really matter if you get stale chocolates and freeway flowers on the 14th? And you might as well kick me down a flight of stairs if you take the even cheaper way out and send me an e-card. I am NOT a Valendoom's day fan, whether in a relationship or not. Can you tell? Give me my love propers everyday. Save the valentines for your kids. "

Next respondent was the homie Tony Grands (another link, that... 2 actually, since he recently participated in the exodus from blogger to wordpress) via email:

"I've been married 7+ years, so all "special" days to me, are geared around the same ethos: leaving me alone. For Christmas, I want silence. For my birthday, I want quiet time. For Memorial Day, I want to stay in my bedroom all day, by myself, eat bbq and use my shirt as a napkin, etc. Valentine's is a lot of pressure for an introvert. Maybe it would be different if I were a girl (no Sasha Fierce), but I'm good with the annual average of hugs, kisses & loving. If you loved me on the 17th of June, you still do on the 14th of February, & no amount of heart-covered boxer shorts & cherry-flavored massage gels will change that. Plus, I'm not romantic & suck at shopping for people. I don't even know what size shoe my wife wears. I don't like being told what to do either, so when these lame Valentine's commercials come on, telling me what I should do for MY wife, I politely say "Fuck You" to nobody in particular and turn the channel. Valentine's Day DOES NOT matter to me. Now if I can get my wife to concur, all would be good... *goes to pick roses from sleeping neighbor's yard*"


Next respondent is another old co-worker, April, who I think is single, with:

"In my opinion, we celebrate Valentine's Day like we celebrate Christmas...buying a bunch of crap to show 'love'(i guess). I adore the real meaning of Christmas, but both holidays have lost sincerity; both are too commercialized.
But on the other hand, let a dude not buy his chick something for Valentine's Day and watch her look at ole dude like he foolish! :-o)"

Next was my good friend, Barry, a marine who has been married for 10 years and 4 kids:
"Absolutely, positively NOT.

If it takes the declaration of a national holiday for you to show any emotion towards the one you are with, then it probably isn't worth your time to be in that relationship in the first place. A commercial holiday for the sake of selling cards, candy, and flowers is very ridiculous. You shouldn't need an excuse to take your significant other on a date, or treat them special for just one night.

Commercialism Shenanigans!

P.S. This in no way means I'm NOT going to still celebrate with ThatWifey, just that I think declaring it a holiday and the emphasis behind it is a bit silly. We go out whenever someone is brave enough to watch the Mercs for us."


Next was back to facebook, this time from another good friend Ace, who I have known as long as Roger:

"I think was has been lost in the commercialism is that you can show love to someone everyday, but you can't go overboard and overindulge everyday, so taking out one day (or in America several days: anniversaries, birthdays, et. al) to step it up is still, and will always be in style. People who say that they don't celebrate need someone to celebrate them and they'll begin to understand the significance (check spelling) of certain holidays. It's because I CAN'T buy roses, and cards, and jewelry everyday, we can choose this as one of many days that we specifically indulge. Nothing at all wrong with it."

Straight Male Pride Foundation member, Simon Stone chimed in, keeping it simple:

"No you should lovin regardless "

Next comment was from Sybil D., esq:

"...This day dubbed by some idiot as "the one special day a year where one showers his/her object of their affection with fatteningly tasty morsels of chocolatey yum yum" isn't all that important. It should matter every day (or every other day for that matter) that one shows how much they care and/or appreciate their significant other. Reminds me of that song "Find 100 Ways" .... V-day was adorable in elementary school, a popularity contest in middle school to see who could get the most carnations, and high school it solidified young love! As grown ups it makes us feel good that someone thought so much of us ON THAT DAY to send something our way. But the bigger reality is that we are drawn to being surprised and appreciated this same way-just not on Valentine's Day. This holiday was nice in gesture for those of us who fail to show our thankfulness every other day. Valentine's Day gives the daily slackers an opportunity too! LOL. Xoxo Phlip ;)"

For the last facebook comment I will use for this one, I think, we will turn to my known-since-7th-grade friend Enjoli, with:

"Hey I like it. You do me and I'll do you. Its cutesy but if you aint doing shit the rest of the year you get a big fat F+ "


Let the records show that I edited nothing into or out of anyone's responses...

To be honest, I was expecting more dissent or difference in opinion compared to my own. It seems that the recession has given the common sense world a shot in the arm enough to see things as they actually are. To be totally honest and perhaps a bit of an asshole about it, I was HONESTLY expecting that line to be drawn directly down the gender divide as well. I guess there is a reason I didn't pass that clairvoyance course I took online a couple years back, huh? Oh well, I got a collection of dissent against it in general, one definite "for" and one "as long as I get some shit," the collective in total suggesting that the people I surround myself with has their heads screwed on right.

This conspired largely to keep me from my Jerry Springer-esque "final thought" and greatly shorten the post, given that the first respondents were among people who have known me longest and best, respectively.
Either way, it would be a waste of my own blog to not speak to my own side of this, offering my opinion, even if already stated by most everyone to respond...
My thing is that valentines does more harm than good. It creates a situation where one may be more "loose" with their propensity for fuckuppery for 364 days of a year (365 in a leap year) with the "get out of jail free" card of February 14th. This also creates an environment where some place far too much value in just how hard one will go on February 14th, sometimes up to and including whether or not they will be allowed to go hard on the EVENING of February 14th.
[Phlip note - HA! See what I did there?]
Lady and gentleman, that is a situation that we call "sex as a weapon," and happens to be one of the last thing women have on dudes who lack either options or better sense to see the possibility of such and head for the door before it becomes a problem, but that is another post for another time.
Sad that things could be allowed to come to the point where a "holiday" (imagine me using finger quotes to trivialize the word spoken, creating a euphemism of it) can hold representation of feelings or value of those feelings that one SHOULD be committed to showing all damned year. Sadder is the fact that value is ALWAYS assigned, as with anything, by those seemingly unwilling to fully understand it. That is where valentines day, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny all come from (damned long ears taking Easter from Jesus), and God forbid the jewelry, candy and whatever other retail companies show restraint in yucking it up all the way to the bank with your money you shouldn't have spent in the first fuckin place.
Not that these words or the above (or below, to come) responses will fall upon the ears (or eyes, as it were) of those with the power to actually carry the message that perhaps if people would focus more on being better mates to those with whom they've decided to bide their respective time on an every day basis as opposed to 3 times a year (birthday and Christmas being the other 2, outside of the topic of this conversation) then perhaps the rate of failed marriages and relationships wouldn't be so fucking abysmal.
But there again, where is the money in that?
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