mercredi, février 14, 2007

Support Big Box Retail? Not Required, but Acceptable

Happy Valentine’s Day.

I have two friends who will remain nameless. These friends are super duper turbo-charged intellectuals. From time to time they send me articles they hope to publish on some hyper-specialized area of importance only to academics, and I barely understand them. These folks are smart.

They shun all corporate holidays as money-making devises. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, they ignore all that. It’s their way of sticking it to the man.

And yes, a lot of money is made off Valentine’s Day.

But permit me to offer the case in favor of Valentine’s Day.

You can never tell someone that you love them too often.
Trinkets and flowers and dinners and poems; they’re all good.
Cards and letters…ditto.
Stopping once a year to go all out for romance? Well it can be really cool, especially…



[wait for it]

…especially if there are little or no expectations to do so.

If one is expected to buy dozens of roses and does so, then it’s undermined a bit, no?
If one is expected to come strong with diamonds, and does so – it means less to me.
If nothing but the light blue box will do, when you present the Paloma Picasso necklace in the light blue box, was it from your heart?

But if one is expected to do nothing or very little, then they are free to infuse the day with all the meaning they desire.

Mrs. Duf received two comic books (Stephen King’s Dark Tower is being redone as a graphic novel of sorts, and Mrs. Duf loves Stephen King) a poem in the newspaper*, and new sunglasses. I’ll leave work early today and go home to make lasagna and mac and cheese. Any one of those things, alone, would have been more than she wanted. If I made her a card, she would have been perfectly happy.

Which frees me up to do as much as I want, secure in the knowledge that it’s only because I want to do so; not because I’m expected to do so. I’m very lucky in that way.


I hope the demands on you were few, and I hope you exceeded them. Tell those you love that you love them. Hug your friends and family. Embrace the romantic potential of the day (even if you line a corporate pocket or two).

Happy Valentine’s Day.

*Our finest local paper (the Star Tribune) has a Valentine’s Day tradition of posting classified ads from sweetie to sweetie. I usually write a silly little trifle and publish it for Mrs. Duf to find. Unlike my other poems, these works usually rhyme and they don’t have darkness, cynicism or a hyper-devotion to reality as core components. If my other works are overcast or partly cloudy, these are sunshine and light.