I don’t love Valen­tine’s Day

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Opinion - Jim Mullen Con­tact Jim Mullen at mullen. jim@gmail.com.

Stressed? Over­worked? Fraz­zled? Broke? Not to worry! Valen­tine’s Day is com­ing up. That’ll give you a chance to re­lax.

Oh, yeah, I for­got: It will only make you cra­zier. What to get? What to do? Where to go? Over the years you’ve bought (or been given) flow­ers, candy, jew­elry and din­ner, and noth­ing seems to change. If you’re al­ready in love, candy isn’t go­ing to change that. If you’re not, din­ner once a year isn’t go­ing to get the job done.

Is some­thing wrong with you? Is some­thing wrong with your part­ner? Or, just maybe, is some­thing wrong with Valen­tine’s Day it­self? Or all hol­i­days, for that mat­ter.

Do we have any hol­i­days where we’re not re­quired to buy, do or cook some­thing, or travel some­where? Or do all four of those at the same time? Not that any­body gets Valen­tine’s Day off work, but you get the pic­ture: It seems the en­tire func­tion of a mod­ern hol­i­day (as op­posed to a re­li­gious Holy Day) is to add stress to our lives, not to take it away.

Hol­i­days are no longer a plea­sure. They’ve be­come un­holy days of obli­ga­tion, where we have to run around like crazy peo­ple try­ing to make other peo­ple happy, and yet all it does is make us all “busy.” I’ve got news for you: You can’t make other peo­ple happy if they’re not happy to be­gin with. That’s some­thing we each have to do for our­selves.

Now, be­fore you think I am blam­ing St. Valen­tine for all this, let me just say that I’m not against love. I’m just against what it’s been turned into. We even ex­pect first-graders to be happy about Valen­tine’s Day, giv­ing out car­toon-themed cards and candy kisses to their class­mates. As if there won’t be enough time in their lit­tle lives to ob­sess about so­cial sta­tus and candy. What’s the rush?

Like ev­ery­one else, I’d like to make the world a bet­ter place, but the Hol­i­day In­dus­trial Com­plex makes that harder and harder. Turn on the TV or walk into one of those dol­lar stores, and you’d think Valen­tine’s Day was big­ger than Black Fri­day, Hal­loween or Su­per Bowl Sun­day -- our other most sa­cred hol­i­days in this coun­try.

If you’ve spent hours think­ing about what gift would make your one true love happy this Feb. 14, please re­al­ize that no gift can “make” a per­son truly happy. Your bright and shin­ing face is enough. If Valen­tine’s Day is the only time you tell some­one that you love them or care about them, you’re do­ing it wrong.

Peo­ple may think I’m out to kill the florists and the restau­rants here, but that’s miss­ing the point. I want friends and lovers to buy flow­ers and candy for each other ev­ery day, or as of­ten as they can. I want peo­ple to go on dates all the time, or as of­ten as they can. Un­der my plan, MORE flow­ers get bought, MORE candy gets shared, MORE restau­rants are full.

Stop do­ing this once a year -make ev­ery day Valen­tine’s Day. You’ll still be over-worked and fraz­zled, but some­one will love you for it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.