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February 14th, 2005


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09:15 am - VD anyone?
The online world is a strange place, and LJ is no exception. It seems that opininons are widely shared by the cliques and circles that run and jump throughout cyberspace, and we forget that those opinions aren't as indicitive of reality as we might like to think.

Between gay marriage, the election, and the amusing propensity of my friends to write Clex erotica, one can easily forget that this little online community that is LiveJournal is not a very accurate portrayal of the world at large. It's comfortable. You can hide in it. You can forget that the rest of the world is different, because, honestly, your online friends are very often just like you.

So I have been amused today to see rants and shouts about Valentine's Day. No one really seems happy with it (with the notable exception of singingwren), and this amuses me to a great extent.

Is it that my friends are unhappy with their love-lives? No, I don't think so. Some might be, but most are, on nearly every other day of their lives, quite happy with them. I know that I have personally seen more information on how happy certain users are with the size of various attributes of their significant other than I ever wanted to see in my life. I know that most of my friends with significant others wouldn't trade them for the world, that they're happy and content with the person (or persons, as the case may be) and would never leave them.

So why this strange anger about V-Day?

In some cases, it's because no matter how much a person says they hate it, you can tell (if you read or listen closely) that what they really want is for the other person to see the day as special, and to make an effort. They want the other person to go out of their way to make them feel special. There's nothing wrong with that.

But then, it's hard to find that. It's hard to listen to, "I hate Valentines Day!" and know that the person is really saying, "I know flowers are expensive, but they'd show that you care." It's also a lot easier to hear what comes out of the person's mouth, rather than what they intend.

I have a kind of standing agreement with Tina. Flowers are far too expensive this week. They're "on sale" for twice the cost they were last week. Instead of spending $25 on a dozen roses on Valentine's Day, I wait two weeks or so and pick her up two dozen for $20 at the grocery store.

But I don't always do this. Sometimes I splurge. I once bought her $70 worth of wildflowers and had them delivered to her. Yes, on Valentine's Day, a bunch of wildflowers costs $70. A dozen roses, if you buy from a florist, will cost you $120, if you're lucky. If you buy from Target or Kroger, you can get away with about $25 for a dozen roses, but for this week they just don't look as nice as they will in two weeks when the demand for high-quality roses goes down again.

So in two weeks, I'll be at the grocery store picking out a beautiful bouquet of roses for Tina, two dozen strong ($150 if purchased this week) for $20. I've already come right out and told her this, because what's important to her is that I'm thinking about it, and I'm not the kind of guy who just buys flowers or chocolate or jewelry and is done with the holiday, anyway.

Tonight, I get to cook dinner. It won't be much fancy, but I'll cook and clean and do all that fun stuff. That, though, is not that special; if it were special, it would imply that there's a reversal of roles. In the end, because Tina and I share the cooking and cleaning, it could just as easily be her cooking and the meal would be just as special.

What makes it special is that we'll be able to get together for the evening, relax and talk for about an hour, at which point she'll head off to her first love: horseback riding. And I'll do my taxes and go to bed early. But it's that hour where we get to spend time together, to simply relax and talk and eat, that is so rare and so special. That's my Valentine's day.

And who knows, maybe I will stop by someplace and pick up some flowers for her. It may be the thought that counts, but honestly, it's the action that carries the real weight.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "I Have Found Me a Home", -JB

(27 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:tlachtga
Date:February 14th, 2005 02:19 pm (UTC)
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Actually, I'm very happy this year (candygraez has assured me that, unlike my last two boyfriends, he won't dump me tonight). The only thing that sucks is that I have class tonight.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 14th, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC)
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I knew I liked that guy for a reason. Not dumping one's girlfriend on Valentine's Day is the first step to a happy, fulfilling relationship.

Or something like that.
[User Picture]
From:tlachtga
Date:February 14th, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC)
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heheh. Seriously, my last two boyfriends broke up with me on Valentine's Day. Dennis? He signs a lease for us that starts the day after Valentine's.
[User Picture]
From:fionnabhar
Date:February 14th, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC)
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I got dumped on my birthday once. That's as close I've come to that. Which is pretty darn close now that I think about it.
[User Picture]
From:fionnabhar
Date:February 14th, 2005 02:28 pm (UTC)
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I make no bones about liking Valentine's Day. None whatever. We took care of the actual festivities over the weekend when there was more time at our disposal, but we got the point across. Funny, I'm a normally a fairly jaded, cynical person, but, hell yes, I want something for Valentine's Day. I'm not that jaded. I even bought chocolate hearts for my students today. Ooh. That's embarrassing to admit.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 14th, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
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Hehe. All the candy goes on sale tomorrow, too. . . I'll certainly be stocking up a bit :)
[User Picture]
From:fionnabhar
Date:February 14th, 2005 03:11 pm (UTC)
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Oh, yeah. The dark chocolate caramels are mine if anyone asks.

And I would qualify that my expectations for giving and receiving on VD aren't extreme by any means. I guess there's something to be said for striking out against a manufactured holiday, but on the other hand, going out of your way to avoid telling or showing someone you love them on February 14 seems a trifle petty to me, and some people seem to advocate that. I can hear the little feet stamping and the "hmphs" from here.
[User Picture]
From:anivair
Date:February 14th, 2005 02:44 pm (UTC)
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Clex erotica?

Isn't Clex a file manager? Let me check.

It totaly is.

Clex
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 14th, 2005 02:50 pm (UTC)
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Haha. It's also slash porn between Clark Kent and Lex Luthor on the TV show Smallville.
[User Picture]
From:anivair
Date:February 14th, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC)
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ahhhh . . . I get it now.

ewwww.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 14th, 2005 03:27 pm (UTC)
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You'll never look at your file manager the same way, will you?
[User Picture]
From:anivair
Date:February 14th, 2005 05:53 pm (UTC)
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let's just say I now use konqueror.
[User Picture]
From:weya
Date:February 14th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC)
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Yes it's the thought that counts. And the action.

But you know ... showing up with a bouquet of flowers at some random time "just because I love you" is more meaningful to me than "because it's valentine's day and FTD says I have to otherwise I'm a crappy SO". So I have to believe that one day does not a relationship make.

My hubby is making me dinner later on in the week for our special time. We'll likely find a movie to watch together as that's my husband's passion -- collecting movies. So I'll probably send him to the store to buy himself something that we'll watch together. (No, I just can't seem to find the right ones & I think half his joy is pouring through the sale bins looking for that obscure deal of a flick)

Honestly my ranty entry was more in response in reading people's angst over this day ... and the fact that like you said, people are generally happy with their mates. So what makes today different? That huge mega expectation of people doing it perfectly, doing it right. Two days ago, that cup of coffee brought to the person in bed was an awesome show of caring & love ... today? it's crap compared to getting $150 worth of flowers. Nothing has changed except commercialized expectations have raise the bar to an impossible height.

And yeah, I expect something today. But it's more in line with a hug and kiss and a "Happy Valentine's Day Honey, I love you".
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 14th, 2005 03:03 pm (UTC)
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I wouldn't necessarily say that the bar is impossibly high. Just ridiculously high :)

But yes, there are reasons that I buy flowers throughout the year. . . It does mean a lot more when it's for no reason at all.
[User Picture]
From:aislinggheal
Date:February 14th, 2005 05:38 pm (UTC)
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Well said! That's my take on this "holiday" as well. My partner and I generally ignore it, except to be amazed at how much flowers cost this week. We jokingly celebrate the "day after V-Day candy sale." And let's not even talk about sweetest day - that one doesn't even get a passing nod, as it was made up by greeting card companies.

Though I confess that this year's burning question about V-Day is: what's with the stuffed gorillas? Why does every store have a huge variety of stuffed gorillas for v-day?

From:shizukagozen
Date:February 14th, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
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Thankfully my friends are too cool to rant about Valentine's Day. ;)

Pass the Godiva.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 14th, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC)
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*passes a raspberry truffle*
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 14th, 2005 04:03 pm (UTC)
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That's a damn fine way to spend any day. :)
[User Picture]
From:duriyah
Date:February 14th, 2005 03:57 pm (UTC)
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That goofy grin on my face yesterday was trying to say: "How could you possibly think that you wouldn't see me again? That will only happen when if I move far, far away. And doubtfully even then. Silly boy!"

Happy Valentine's Day!!!
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 14th, 2005 04:03 pm (UTC)
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Hehe. :) I was hoping to see you at Imbolc, and didn't :) Was worried you'd lost interest :)
[User Picture]
From:duriyah
Date:February 14th, 2005 05:52 pm (UTC)
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Never! How could I stay away from such a beautiful person?

And I do enjoy the rites, and getting together with people. I was just a ninny and didn't print out the information. I felt really bad about missing. So guilty, in fact, that the people I was with thought I sounded Catholic.
[User Picture]
From:autumnfey
Date:February 14th, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC)
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You know, I was just contemplating what my Valentine's day rant would be when I read your post. Like most of your friends, my significant other does sweet things randomly (including flowers) and I try to tell myself that Valentine's Day shouldn't mean anything, but somehow it still does. I have the typical love/hate relationship with the holdiay. I hate the holiday because I know it will not live up to expectations, and despite trying to not expect anything, somehow I still do. This is also the case with birthdays, Christmas, and anniversary. Ed has always been upfront with the fact that he doesn't do holidays well, he doesn't shop well, but I have never doubted his feelings for me. He shows me he cares with actions every day, letting me sleep in while he cleans the living room, bringing me cookies from Addison, running me a bath, etc. But I still want an effort put forth on the mandatory holidays. I think I am very reasonable, flowers are not necessary (I know that they are way overpriced), cooking a nice dinner or sitting through a chick flick would be fine. But often our lives get in the way and we end up doing nothing. Actually I have completely lost my train of thought, but needless to say I am doing my best to not expect anything at all today, so that I won't be disapointed. And overall, I get over it because I know that he cares and I remember what he does on other days.
[User Picture]
From:geedeck
Date:February 14th, 2005 05:06 pm (UTC)

Duck and cover

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^^ is what I do. Because actually, I'm almost school-boy level happy but so many people bitch and complain I don't want to state it... I feel like I'll get the bumrush. And anyway, who do I care to tell this to except for my girl?

Heh. I hope you're up there when I tell Joyce what I'm getting her though, her cry of Joyce-ly dismay will be _totally awesome_.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 14th, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC)

Re: Duck and cover

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I'm here for the rest of the day, and Joyce leaves around 4, I think, so now I'm looking forward to it!
[User Picture]
From:singingwren
Date:February 15th, 2005 12:49 am (UTC)
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Ahh, I'm a freak! I don't belong on your friends list!

*whuffles about for chocolates in attempt to properly capture the spirit of the day*
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 15th, 2005 01:25 pm (UTC)
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Hehe. No, believe me, it was nice to see early in the morning. As time went on, more of my friends were positive about the day :) So you're not alone.
From:fred_smith
Date:February 16th, 2005 02:20 am (UTC)
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I had a good Valentines Day. Glad you did too. Not that I was very aware of it, of course. I'm never too aware of anything.

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