Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day

February 14th, a day when sales of roses peak for the year. A day when millions of men and women collectively spend an obscene amount of money attempting to make someone other than themselves happy. Why is this arbitrary date so special? My guess, aside from the fact that Hallmark tells us it's special, is that the early Catholics found out that there's some kind of cool pagan festival around the end of winter and beginning of spring. Those smart Catholics hijacked this pagan festival and created an entire story about St. Valentine, to get those pesky pagans into their churches of course.

Fast forward hundreds of years to the present day, and Valentine's Day is a commercial extravaganza courtesy of our insatiable need to buy things. Flowers, jewelry, candy, Champagne and countless other objects are pitched to us (collectively) as the way to make your friend or romantic partner happy.

As a blogger, my inbox fills up with "helpful" press releases touting wine/food pairings, romantic cocktails, smartphone apps, sparkling wine brands and more. We've turned a pagan festival day into a money generating capitalist engine. Awesome!

Bloggers (including me) put out Valentine's Day posts that come at you from all angles, those who suggest romance oriented things (to buy), some who rail against the entire holiday, and others who basically copy/paste one of the aforementioned press releases in the hopes of curating favor with someone. I've read through a bunch of posts from the tame to the downright bitter. Just following along on Twitter shows people's feelings run the gamut of emotions.

Facebook will surely blow up on Valentine's Day too, with people bragging about what they got and others loudly proclaiming that they hate everything about the day. At the very least, it will be funny.
If I have any advice to offer, any at all, it's this: IF you plan to do something special, think outside the box for a change. Restaurants are going to jack their prices up for special menus, wine bottles with pretty hearts on them are probably going to contain shitty juice. Take some time and jot down unique ideas for your sweetheart, then execute the best, most appealing of those ideas for him or her. Should you decide to open a bottle of fermented grape juice, don't make a huge ceremony of it. Just enjoy the fact that you have a partner in crime right now. Chances are, you want to get laid this night, so don't over-do the drinking or food, don't stress too much. Concentrate on pleasuring the senses of someone else for a change, but without the distractions that surround us every day.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Beau Carufel