February 14, 2007

Don't be afraid of Valentine's Day.

I'm sure you won't screw it up. You'd better not. Don't even think of calling in sick. Just go forward. You will make it through the candy-colored maze, sweetheart.

Candy hearts

Candy hearts

You know these candy hearts are exactly the same thing as Necco wafers -- once you've chewed them up. And don't agonize over whether that's a metaphor for your relationship. Just keep moving forward. It's only one day.

Candy hearts

64 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Yesterday the Wisconsin State Journal ran a wire story about Valentine's Day gift-getting disasters. All the stories were from women.

Why don't men complain about such things, I wonder. It must be because women are perfect.

Ann Althouse said...

Valentine's Day was not a big deal when I was young. I consider the current to-do about it really square. People have gotten themselves caught in a trap over this. It doesn't look like much fun.

Meade said...

Is there a candy heart in there somewhere that says: "You make me want to donate anonymous sperm"

Anthony said...

I'm getting my wife a new toilet today.

I fully expect Ann to be on the next flight to Seattle to attempt to woo away such an excellent specimen of manhood.

Mark the Pundit said...

If Mitt Romney loses the presidential election, he can always take heart (pun intended) in the fact that he would be an excellent writer for the slogans on these candy hearts...

Wade_Garrett said...

After being subjected to Valentine's Day-themed advertisements for the past two weeks, my observations are that:

1) any man who buys a woman a Vermont teddy bear for Valentine's Day is totally pussy-whipped
2) women should laugh at men who bring them Russell Stover chocolates instead of going to a chocolate shop
3)Valentine's Day is a trite, pointless holiday for which, in the interest of fairness, there needs to be some sort of a male equivalent.

milwaukee39 said...

Valentine's Day isn't a holiday, its only an observance. If it was a holiday, I wouldn't be at work today. And before you attribute my attitude to my being single, I say the same thing about St. Patrick's Day and I'm Irish.

Wade_Garrett said...

Milwaukee -- Of course you're right. 'Observance' would have been awkward to put in that sentence, so I cheated.

Joe said...

My wife had long accepted that I think Valentine's Day is silly and refuse to have anything to do with it.

Of course, I don't like birthdays either--not because of aging (I've never minded getting older), but because, like Valentine's Day and now Christmas (and Mother's and Father's day for that matter), they are extremely manipulative. Gift given is no longer an expression of one's feelings, but an expectation for which it is increasingly difficult to satisfy the receiver.

(Even I'm a bastard; I hate getting stuff I don't want, or worse, getting a crappy brand of something I do want. The good news is that my wife and kids have learned this and a) do a pretty good job getting things and b) always keep the receipts and c) have learned not to be offended when I return stuff.)

Fatmouse said...

Joe,

Can't agree enough with you about gift manipulation.

Christmas and birthdays are great for kids - twice a year they get cool toys, and all that's expected in return is a tank you and maybe some macaroni glued to construction paper and sprinkled with glitter.

For adults, though, it's an unpleasant dance of trying to guess who'll get you a present and how much they'll spend, then trying to match it. And then you have situations where you need to get someone a gift without having the slightest idea what they want, so you just throw money away on something neither would buy otherwise.

I have a shelf full of scented candles, which for many years were the "generic gift" if you didn't know what to give. I will allow them to sit fallow a little longer until their givers have long forgotten about them. Then, come one Christmas or birthday, I'll give them back.

sonicfrog said...
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sonicfrog said...

As Linus would say, Valentines Day is not only getting too commercial, it's getting too dangerous ...

In fifty years we will probably have a Valentines tree!

Off Topic:

Anther company going after a blogger. Groklaw is a blog, run by Pamela Jones, and has been following the SCO vs IBM, Novell, Red Hat, etc., etc.. SCO started out trying to show that IBM incorporated millions of lines of UNIX code into LINUX, but after two years of discovery, not one line of stolen code have been presented by SCO. Now they are claiming infringement of methods and concepts. They are also trying to get new discovery admitted into the case well after discovery has concluded. SCO's cases are not going well. I suspect they are trying to paint the blogger as a shill for IBM in order to claim the perspective jury pool is irreversibly tainted, and give the company an escape clause from their failing lawsuits.

sonicfrog said...

Ooops. Link didn't copy over.

Forbes article is here.

Ron said...

Maybe some of the candy hearts need updating:
"You're an embed in my heart."
"Our Love: Deal or No Deal."
"Name your Derangement Syndrome Disorder after me."
"You were opposed to our love, and now you're for it."

Simon said...

Sonicfrog - I guess we no longer have to wonder who will be recorded as the first litigant in history to try to make the following defense stick: "our case is so utterly and transparently flawed that no reasonable juror could possibly believe it, and therefore the prospective jury pool is irreversibly tainted." ;)

Fen said...

Any of you guys inwardly groan when the jewelry store ads try to guilt you with thousand dollar gemstones?

If I had $6,000 to splurge on a diamond, I'd donate it to the Gates Foundation instead.

I guess I'm asking how much pressure do the guys feel to "go big" on v-day?

Ann Althouse said...

"Valentine's Day is a trite, pointless holiday for which, in the interest of fairness, there needs to be some sort of a male equivalent."

There are holidays when you worship God and holidays when you worship women. There is no holiday when God worships you and there is no holiday when women worship men. Get it?

amzbd said...

In college I lived down the street from the NECCO factory. They make only one flavor a day. I hated "fern" days, which is the only way to describe the smell of the flavor of the green wafer. Peppermint days were my favorite, and actually seemed to help a hangover.

Jennifer said...

Meade, look here. Nothing says I love you like Do My Dishes or Call a 900 # or Be My Yoko. :P

We don't do Valentine's Day. In almost 11 years, we never have. He thinks he's scored because he doesn't have to deal with the stupid holiday. I think I've scored because flowers and love aren't limited to one day of the year. It's a win win.

Fen said...

There are holidays when you worship God and holidays when you worship women. There is no holiday when God worships you and there is no holiday when women worship men. Get it?

Shorter: "Every day is Man's Day" :P

amzbd said...

After following Ann's links it seems my aversion to "fern" was probably an aversion to clove. Still makes me grimmace thinking about it. And peppermint is actually wintergreen. My nose wasn't very fine-tuned in those days, I guess.

al said...

There are holidays when you worship God and holidays when you worship women. There is no holiday when God worships you and there is no holiday when women worship men. Get it?

Is our humble hostess trying to equate women and God?

Regarding today - my wife and I decided long ago to stop buying each other presents for Hallmark observances.

As for being guilt tripped into gem stones - how about the two months salary for an engagement ring line?

Bissage said...

It seems like some people here aren’t real into Valentine’s Day. Well, that’s cool and all. I guess they have their reasons.

Not to be pointlessly contrary or anything, but I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day, even if it hasn’t always loved me.

I'd like for everybody to love Valentine's Day.

[S]onicfrog mentioned Linus Van Pelt and isn’t his explanation of Christmas exactly what Charlie Brown (and all of us, really) needed to hear at exactly that moment?

Well, maybe Valentine’s Day needs a “Linus” of its own. Maybe it needs Tom Jones.

Meade said...

Jennifer: He sounds like a lucky guy.

Those are great. Especially enjoyed "I Want Half."

class-factotum said...

Give me a guy who goes to Wal-Mart at midnight to buy a new battery for my car (and then installs it), who takes the gunk out of my shower drain and who flies to Memphis (where I live) from Milwaukee (where he lives) just to repair my washing machine over someone who makes a big deal about Valentine's Day *any* day.

I don't want the showy stuff, I want the practical, everyday "I really care about you" stuff.

Fen said...

As for being guilt tripped into gem stones - how about the two months salary for an engagement ring line?

I think the standard is three months salary...

I got lucky. 10K stone passed down from my grandmother. Good thing too, as I had just left the Marine Corps and enrolled in college - had zero disposable income.

Palladian said...

Always remember: "gift" means "poison" and "venom" in German.

Hazy Dave said...

A while ago, some diamond peddlers were using "Take Her Breath Away" as a sales slogan. Some wit paraphrased that as "That'll Shut Her Up". The slogan disappeared not long after. Coincidence? I don't know.

I brought my girl an apple,
She let me hold her hand.
I brought my girl an orange,
We kissed beneath the band.
I brought my girl bananas,
She let me squeeze her tight.
I'm going to bring a watermelon
To my girl tonight.


-Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

Oligonicella said...

Any woman who wants a guy to invest 2-3 months income in a transparent rock is not worth the investment.

CB said...

One of the many things I love about my wife is that she is completely on board with my refusal to waste money on flowers or candy for valentines day. Instead we give each other fancy-but-useful household items--usually kitchen items. This year she got an espresso machine and I got Wusthof knives.

And I hasten to add that she is the espresso drinker, not me.

Kirk Parker said...
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Kirk Parker said...

Wade,

Re your #3 (a male equivalent to Valentine's Day), would Buy A Gun Day or Nation Ammo Week do it for you? :-)

Fen,

In the interests of diversity (and I mean real diversity) I would recommending you make your hypothetical donation to just about anybody but the Gates Foundation. It's not that I'm opposed to them per se, but rather that the last thing we need is One Grand Unified Foundation™. So give your money to some struggling but worthy local group instead.

Fen said...

LOL. Good point. Local Police & Firefighter's families instead.

Peter Palladas said...

"I'm sure you won't screw it up.... Local Police & Firefighter's families instead."

...You miserable, unromantic ninnies the lot of you!

Collective noun: An Unromance of Bloggers

BJK said...

How has no one mentioned the Season 1 'Family Guy' bit...

"Diamonds: She'll pretty much have to."


It pretty much sums up this annual observance. Still, for whatever reason, Valentines Day > Sweetest Day (where Hallmark Holidays are concerned).

Fen said...

Well, Saint Valentine hates me. After several years of forgetting the date [no cards, nothing] I finally planned ahead and ordered flowers to be delivered to her at work. For yesterday, to surprise her even more [oh he even planned ahead!].

Federal government shut down at 2PM yesterday b/c of ice. My roses were either not delivered [no one there to accept them] or are freezing in the snow...

3PM Valentines Day. Still no excited call from wifey gushing over my thoughtfulness. I'm doomed. Cursed.

kettle said...

you are extremely good at coming up with relevant labels. I wonder if google has figured out how to appreciate that fact.

Peter Palladas said...

A poem for the day:

"I had assumed it was as in Alt as in Altruism or alterum tantum.

Then I heard her speak and understood it was Alt as in Alternative or Altercate."

...Romance - 1 : Frozen Wastes of USA - 0.

Eli Blake said...

3)Valentine's Day is a trite, pointless holiday for which, in the interest of fairness, there needs to be some sort of a male equivalent.

Traditionally, leap day (Feb. 29) has been a day when women ask men for a date.

In other words, if you do a very good job of romancing her on Valentine's day for four years in a row, then maybe she will reciprocate. Then it's back in your court for the next four years.

al said...

Kirk,
Re your #3 (a male equivalent to Valentine's Day), would Buy A Gun Day or Nation Ammo Week do it for you? :-)

My wife buys me guns for Christmas :-)

Mike said...

Jennifer said: "We don't do Valentine's Day. ... I think I've scored because flowers and love aren't limited to one day of the year."

Valentine's Day was invented by men to "limit the damage".

tcd said...

Heard on the radio this morning that florists get a lot of orders from women for flowers to be delivered to the women themselves at their workplace on Valentine's Day. Perhaps in hopes of making their co-workers jealous? Either the florists are mistaken or else single women of today are really desperate. Wow, am I thankful to be happily married or what! BTW, what's with the animosity for sparkly beautiful things such are diamonds?

class-factotum said...

[oh he even planned ahead!].

Fen -- no extra credit for ordering something weeks in advance. Indeed, that's a demerit. It reeks of "Yeah, I programmed it into my (electronic device of choice) or had my secretary take care of it just so I could cross it off the damn list already."

Years ago, I had a boyfriend who sent me an e-card for my birthday. He'd ordered it a month before. That was the only thing he did for my birthday. Then he broke up with me.

You do, however, get points for sending the flowers to your wife's workplace. Nothing like getting flowers in front of your friends. THAT is big.

Mike said...

TCD asked: "what's with the animosity for sparkly beautiful things such are diamonds?"

I think it's the three months salary part.

amy said...

Well, I guess I'm the only 'typical' girl hear. I'll take roses, lots of them, and diamonds and chocolates, thankyouverymuch. I'm just fine without them, but it is nice to get them.

tcd said...

Really, Mike, three months salary for a beautiful ring that I will wear for the rest of our lives together (me & hubby, that is), is quite cost-effective, don't you think?

Ruth Anne Adams said...
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Mike said...

tcd: Well, if we make it as far as the rest of our lives, maybe so. Let's rent to own.

Susan said...

And what about that Hallmark commercial where the woman buys an animated stuff animal for the guy? Oh yeah, he'll love that.

tcd said...

Oh, we are sooo making it to the rest of our lives, Mike. I'm determined to celebrate our 50th, otherwise, how else will I get my next sparkly diamond and the porcelain figurine of the old couple on top of the cake? :)

Mike said...

Next sparkly diamond?!?! Now it comes out! Three months is only a down payment!

MadisonMan said...

And what about that Hallmark commercial where the woman buys an animated stuff animal for the guy? Oh yeah, he'll love that.

Very useful. He can re-gift it to the next girlfriend.

Signed, Practical in Madison

Jennifer said...

Valentine's Day was invented by men to "limit the damage".

LOL. Then I guess I scored.

vbspurs said...

I've been super busy today, but I'd like to wish my fellow Althousians a wonderful Valentine's night of sexual mayhem! ;)

I come not bearing colourful candies or Necco wafers (you wha- ?) as my Valentines presents, but instead noting that the best part of Valentine's sometimes isn't about the romantic stuff, but the hot-and-heavy stuff that comes afterwards, I wrote a blogpost called

10 Sluttiest (Old) Hollywood Actresses

If you love Old Hollywood, like I do, I think you'll think it great fun.

See you laters!
Victoria

SippicanCottage said...
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tcd said...

No, no , no, Mike, not a down payment. But the best damn investment you will ever make in your life.

And let me just say on this Valentine's Day that marriage is the bestest invention before and since sliced bread! Happy Valentine's, Althousians!

tcd said...

Oh Sippican, chocolate and coffee with the one you love, doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Internet Ronin said...

I've always thought that the sweetest things on Valentine's Day are the hand-made cards children make for parents.

If not that, then Sip's Hershey Bar ranks up there.

Matthew said...

To the extent that anyone is interested in the n-months-salary "rule" for diamonds, it is the product of marketing by the world's largest diamond company, DeBeers.

Interestingly, the "n" varies according to the market. They set it as high as they believe it will become accepted as the rule of thumb in a given culture. I have read that it n=1 for Europe, 2 for the U.S., and 3 for Japan. What this says about these cultures, I'm not sure. But I come from the "baby bear" school of international relations, so I think it shows that the Europeans are cheap and the Japanese whipped.

One of the special features of diamond marketing is that they are one of the very few products that are not marketed to the customers. DeBeers and others are quite clear that they do not need to convince the men who buy the diamonds. Rather, they only need to convince the women, and the women will convince the men.

Jennifer said...

Hmm...I think that's probably more likely to mean that the Japanese are incredibly status conscious.

But, that's really interesting that the amount people are willing to spend varies so widely.

Mike said...

Is that n-months salary before or after taxes?

Matthew said...

Jennifer,

A good point re: the Japanese. To preserve my thesis, note that yours and mine are complementary if the *women* are status conscious.

Fen said...

Roses still not delivered.

I am soooo dooooomed.

Any gals want to take in a 30 yr old former Marine? Low maintenance. I do dishes and windows.

Pop Art Diva! said...

Valentine's Day - if you're not pretty or popular you can't play! It annoys me so much I ranted it on my Diva blog, complete with art!
Cupid is the Gangsta of Love!