One thing (among many) that I hate about Valentine’s Day is the way marketers use sexist stereotypes of men and women to hawk their wares. A case in point: last night I saw a Russell Stover’s ad featuring three or four different straight guys attest that if they didn’t come home with a box of Russell Stover’s chocolates on V-Day, their wives would kick them to the couch or perform some other symbolic castration.
That is typical of ads I have heard for the past two weeks: men are neanderthals clueless about the women in their lives, and women are infantile, materialistic shrews. Of course a man isn’t in touch with his wife’s/girlfriend’s/partner’s emotions, because if he was, he wouldn’t be man!
I’m not saying I am the perfect husband who always knows what to get my wife for her birthday, xmas, whatever. She doesn’t always know, either. So we perform this strange ritual of divination: we ask.
Granted, the response one of us usually gives is, “Uh…I dunno. Surprise me.” And gift certificates are always welcome.
That said, we don’t do Valentine’s Day. For the above reasons, but mostly because it has always seemed like Enforced Intimacy. You have 24 hours to express love to one another. Commence hugging. After which, stop the hugging. There will be no unsanctioned hugging!