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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Visions of Love

Surrounding me in cafes, supermarkets, department stores...it's enough to make one ill. (Oh sure, the victims are all blaming the novovirus, but I know the truth!) And I'm not talking about couples showing their affection. I'm talking about all of the Valentine's Day paraphernalia that's already fully stocked everywhere. It's barely even January. It's not even a "real" holiday. And basically, it boils down to a national reason for making all the single people feel like garbage. (Or perhaps I'm just a bitter old spinster?)

In any case, does the Valentine's day stuff need to be in stores a month and a half early? It's way too much. And yes, I'll admit, I have a seething hatred for this particular day...but I will also admit that deep down I am merely jealous of all those sharing their love while I am alone. And although I do have a romantic (read: totally sappy) side and harbor hope for my own romantic future, dismal as it may look at the moment, I think Valentine's displays appearing immediately after Christmas is crossing a line. Maybe even hurtling past it. Especially since I am one of those Catholics that leaves their Christmas decorations up until Epiphany (January 6th), so it's still Christmas in my house.

So...I can understand Christmas stuff in the stores in November. I can understand Halloween stuff in the stores at the tail end of September. But, am I unjustified in thinking this blatant over-marketing of VD (as I like to call it...appropriate that the acronym stands for something that is probably spread like wildfire on the day...but I digress...) is just too much?

11 comments:

kerri said...

I was in Bath and Body Works today (HUGE MEGA SALE, BTW. But I bought a ton and paid next to nothing.) and there was this lady in there already talking V-day presents. Blah.

It's society's shopping culture absolute necessity to IMMEDIATELY jump into to the next holiday.

Maybe it's supposed to perpetuate happiness. I don't know, but again I say, "blah".

I join you in your hatred for the Hallmark holiday.

Caitlin said...

Tami,
I totally agree. However, I feel this way about other holidays too. Like when the xmas stuff comes out right after Haloween. Ugh! Can't we get thru Thanksgiving. It is such overkill. My mom always says that Valentine's day is just a Hallmark holiday!

Joie said...

To be honest, I think that with this holiday, it is the same as with Halloween. What manufacturers hope will happen is: Guy buys candy early. Guy eats said candy, or loses said candy. Guy must buy more candy to avoid being busted. Manufacturers make more money.

I think that it is entirely a financial issue.

And I hate to be a wise-acre here, but it is not a Hallmark holiday. Check Wikipedia if you don't believe me. It started as a saints day, and was celebrated in the High Middle Ages when courtly love was all the rage. It is recorded in Chaucer's work around 1382. It is also mentioned by Ophelia in Hamlet. And those romantic Victorian's were crazy about it. It is believed that the holiday was brought here by British immigrants in the early 19th century and the stationary industry got a hold of it in 1837 when the first mass produced hearts hit the market.

And I don't like the stuff showing up in the first week of Jan either. If for no other reason, it suggests we can't be stopped from eating the candy. (Who wants month old candy anyway??) But I've always loved the holiday, even when I was single. Always went to the dances, always without a date. Wear red, pink or, purple that day...I can't seem to help it. But that's just me. To each their own.

Kristin said...

I am surprised at you, look at the true beginning of this day:
http://www.theholidayspot.com/valentine/history_of_valentine.htm

Ok, besides that fact that this was interesting and I had never read it, you are right. Its true for all the holidays though, except new years. I was looking for new years invites and decor at the beginning of December. Its nowhere to be found, until the week before that is. Whatever!!!
The christmas stuff in September and the Halloween stuff out in July is a bit ridiculous.
My husband and I did notice the valentines stuff on 12/30. I noticed it being out and how weird it was, he noticed chocolate. Anyway, not a fan of the day. We sort of have said that we would do something before or after to avoid the prices or just stay at home and acknowledge the cheap way.
So when is easter stuff going to be out? Anyone seen ST. Pattys day stuff yet?

D.T. said...

As you know Tami, I work at a flower shop and I gotta say...if you think you're on Valentine's Day overload, think again! We've been getting ready since the day after Christmas! Actually that's not true...we've been getting ready since October. Yeah. I'm kinda already tired about the whole holiday. It's so commercialized and has lost all meaning...of course if I should become somebody's Valentine I will totally take back everything I said.

Tami said...

Okay, I know it started out as a saint's day (and still is), but it's still not a holy day of obligation or a big religious celebration (though neither is Saint Patrick's Day, which has simply morphed into a drinker's holiday anyway). It's fine to celebrate love and romance and all that crap, but this is ridiculous. And I'm pretty sure that when our ancestor's were celebrating courtly love, they weren't doing it like this.

And Joie - you just earned her nerd score... ;) And you know I already knew the history of the day. Doesn't make it a "true" holiday in my eyes. No one is sitting at their homes with their loved ones contemplating the martyrdom of Saint Valentine or his imprisonment.

Besides, you should be appreciative of those you love all the time, not because of one day that has lost it's true meaning.

I found this through Kristin's link:
"As early as the fourth century B.C., the Romans engaged in an annual young man's rite to passage to the God Lupercus. The names of the teenage women were placed in a box and drawn at random by adolescent men; thus, a man was assigned a woman companion for the duration of the year, after which another lottery was staged. After eight hundred years of this cruel practice, the early church fathers sought to end this practice... They found an answer in Valentine, a bishop who had been martyred some two hundred years earlier."

Proof that the Church created this as a way of stopping cruel mating rituals! And when it was first celebrated, the love notes etc were passed to the lovers in secret...not like today. Now it seems to have come full circle, hasn't it. (Back me up here Kerri)

I'm a bit bitter today, can you tell?

Caitlin said...

Just to clarify, I wasn't saying Halmark made up V-dy but they have definitely make it into what it is today. Hope that makes sense!!!

Tami said...

And when I said "real" before holiday (using the quotation marks), I meant I don't consider it a real holiday. (sorry for the confusion.)

And bitter as I am, I don't mean to take away couple's rights to share and celebrate thier love. I just don't need it right in my face.

I hope I didn't offend anyone. (And before you start worrying Joie, I am not offended by your response on here, so no hard feelings.)

Joie said...

To be honest, I wasn't particularly worried about you being upset over what I said, considering that I pretty much agreed with you. I said yes, that it was annoying that everything was out so early, and that it was a commercial manuver.

The only thing I disagreed about was if the holiday was a "Hallmark Holiday", which I consider to be a holiday that was basically made up to sell cards, such as my current favorite "Bosses Day". I am also willing to consider Mother's Day and Father's Day in there as they aren't being celebrated the way that they were intended (The former being an anti-war day, and the later commemorating the loss of a bunch of fathers and sons to a mining cave in.) So by my definition, Valentine's Day is not a Hallmark Holiday.

As to if it is over-commercialized, what isn't??
If companies thought they could make money by selling us cow sh*t for "Cow Sh*t Day" they'd do it in a heartbeat. That's capitalism.

As to how anybody feels about the day, that's their bag. Love it, hate it, be indifferent to it. It makes no nevermind to me. I just have a thing about historical accuracy.

Pancho said...

I think the best way to celebrate Valentines Days is to have sex in public, ah so romantic.......and cheap except for the bail money.

Tami said...

Pancho - very classy...