Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day pet peeve . . .

Okay, I'll just say it - I hate Valentine's Day. And in the spirit of the holiday, may I add "I hate it with a passion."

The reason is that it has nothing to do with the "couple". It's not him and her - It's all about her and her friends. He can't just give her anything, it has to be something that she can show off or brag about. And the guy better come through or he's in for a lifetime of resentment.

The problem is, for the most part, that men are clueless about what this entails. It's an unfair expectation placed on males. They're out of their element. You may as well ask a Klan member to sculpt a statue of M.L.K. You probably won't like the results becuase you and the klan member would have a different idea of what a "tribute" to the civil rights leader should look like.

This explains why corporations take advantage of male ignorance on this issue and actually sell those silly Vermont bears. Most men don't know any better and they're grasping at straws.

To the male logic, a gift given to a significant other out of cultural extortion has no meaning and he'd rather not do it. However, women place enormous value on the guy doing what is socially expected.

Tip for you ladies: You want to know how your hubby really feels about you. Look at some of the practical things he does for you. Works at a job he can't stand. Always makes sure your car is in good working order. If he's constantly checking your oil and anti-freeze, putting on new wipers, checking your tires, etc, that is more meaningful to him than giving you flowers on V-day. Does he hold your purse while you're shopping? (trust me - he hates this and only does it for one reason.)


Janet Rubin said...

Just wanted to say Happy Valentine's Day:)

Todd said...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Nicole said...

Dayle, I would agree for the most part. For me, I just love to find the perfect card for my husband and find him some extra dark chocolate which he loves and watch him get emotional when he reads the card. That makes my day! I expect nothing from him except the love he gives to me in so many ways. He often feels guilty about his lack of "gifts", etc., but I tell him he doesn't need to because the day is meaningless--his love is not. I'd so much rather give than receive.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Ok, that's funny Janet. Way to throw water on the campfire. But I expected more from the person who wrote More Like Trevor.

Todd, Janet beat you to the joke. I want you to write a 300 word essay on why you shouldn't copy.

Nicole - in fairness to those like you, I should have wrote(just kidding) written "a majority of women"

Janet Rubin said...

Just one question. You said he hates holding the purse, but only does it for one reason. I wonder if we're both thinking of the same "reason?"

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

The answer to that question, Janet, will determine if he's a jerk or not.

Unless he's holding his wife's purse. Then I'll admit there are other possible reasons.

1.) he loves her
2.) she's an overbearing control freak and he has no choice if he wants to keep the peace. In other words - he deems the war would be worse than the emasculation.

Kay said...

I actually haven't been a big fan of Valentine's Day either. And in backward sorta way, for the same reason.
I would rather my hubby do stuff for me because he wants to, not because he's "supposed" to.
I would rather have him clean my car than buy me some trinket just because he feels pressured to.

Winter Peck said...

Actually, the last time my husband did anything for me on V-day was 2 years ago when he knew he was leaving for Iraq and wanted to make it memorable. He did. But I love doing stuff for him, like this year. Did it all and never asked for anything in return.

I'm not into that men getting duped by the advertising world on how to show their wives they love them on one day of the year. Being a father to our kids, supporting my writing career, helping around the house now and again are by far better perks than a dozen roses that die and chocolate that he'll eat more than me.

I have yet to see my husband hold my purse with one finger outstretched as far from his body as possible. I rarely make him hold it anyway, cause he's likely to start digging through it for gum I have hidden deep within in the bowles.

Mark H. said...

Valentine's Day is a corporate holiday designed to boost the sales of Hallmark and other businesses during the otherwise slow winter months.

My wife is a good woman. She tells me it's pointless to go all out on Valentine's Day when you can get all the candy, etc. for 50% off on Feb. 15. We figure it's best to try and tell each other we love each other throughout the year instead of waiting for one day, anyway.

Janet Rubin said...

Two things:
one is that I wanted to tell you that I made heart shaped sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles for my husband and brought them to him at work. And asked for nothing.

The other thing is a comment on your commet at Decompose. I didn't comment there because I didn't read his post and didn't feel like going into all the links to understand what it was about. HOwever, I concur heartily with your comment. I get really tired of that debate. I personally love reading mainstream fiction and some Christian fiction as well. I care more about a great story that is brilliantly written than I do if it says "shit" somewhere or if someone does something immoral. But I know SO MANY women who really just want to read stories that are "clean." These are God loving, servants of Christ, who work hard serving in churches, and concentrate on living for God. They find cursing/violence/sexual stuff offensive and they enjoy reading books that entertain them without all that. They are the consumers and they have a right to get what they want. Also, no one has a right to judge those people, saying there is something "wrong" with what they choose to read! Bottom line: write a GREAT book, and it'll find a home on a shelf somewhere. Right?
There are all different kinds of Christians, which is why we like different music styles and types of worship and methods of evangelism. Naturally, we aren't all going to want to read the same things!

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Okay, ya'll's comments (what? I am from the south) have given me some optimism that I can find a future wife with a similar attitude. Go Valentine's day. Yeah, you're right. Too over the top?

Thanks, Janet. Sometimes I wonder if I'm alone on some of these points. I understand Mike's fear. He doesn't want that to be the universal definition of Christian fiction. But I think his fear is misplaced - I just don't think the world looks at it that way.

The only solution would be to call it "G-rated books by Christian authors who choose to write that type". Not too catchy, huh?

Jerry Pat Bolton said...

Absolutely . . . You have said what I have been thinking for many, many years . . .

Kat Heckenbach said...

I dated a guy who on our first Valentine's day together gave me an air filter for my car, among other practical gifts. He told me, "Remember, each of these things shows you that I care about you."

I married him :).