BOOM. It’s Valentine’s Day
Here’s the problem with Valentine’s Day: it takes advantage of men.
Men don’t get a lot of sympathy from culture these days, understandably. There’s no doubt that we still have it pretty good. Just open a Fortune 500 annual report to the board of directors page or compare the lines for the men’s and women’s bathrooms at any large event and that becomes obvious.
So I’m not crying nobody a river about this, but still… Valentine’s Day is a massive commercial holiday built on the weakness of its target consumer: men.
It’s the equivalent of a pontoon boat bobbing around in the ocean where minutes before the Titanic had been floating… selling life rings for $2,000 a pop.
It’s like showing up on Mars and offering Matt Damon a ticket back to Earth for the low low price of just everything he has in his pockets plus his entire checking account plus half of his credit card limit.
Actually, now that I think about it, that would be a good deal for a stranded astronaut but it’s a hell of a lot to ask from some palooka who’s busting his ass every day just to put food on the table and keep a roof over his family’s head.
Nonetheless, for men, doing Valentine’s Day right is vital, but we have no idea how. When it comes to Valentine’s Day and (what we think) our honey expects, men are at sea. We are in a totally alien environment. (See how I did that?)
So what do the jewelry stores do? They offer to help.
- They offer coded guidance; for example, “He went to Jared!” means “She wants you to go to Jared, you moron, so her friends will be impressed.”
- Or they give you a romantic idea, like walking ten miles up and down two mountains in three feet of snow to stomp the shape of a heart into the frosted hillside. She’ll love it!! But, the jewelry store warns, despite the fact that you risked death by elements or grizzly on this dreamy gesture, she still expects jewelry.
- Or they create a special line of jewelry, like a bracelet with matching charms that go on it, which means it’s the gift you keep giving, because there are a billion different charms and clips and clasps and whatnots that match it. So it’s like buying a piece of jewelry on an installment plan that never ends.
When I go into the jewelry store, I double park because I’ll be back in my car in less than five minutes. I’m sure I’m going to make a mistake so I might as well make it quick and get on with my honey-do list.
Amazingly, however, Stacy has always loved what I picked out. In fact, the odds of her loving every gift I’ve given her over two decades are so astronomical that…
Well, let’s just say that maybe the best Valentine’s Day gift has been the one she’s given me, 23 years in a row, when she’s managed to say, “Oh, this is beautiful! I love it!”