“A blunt perspective on Valentine’s Day”
First comes love, then comes money
The most (ahem) romantic day of the year is just around the corner, ladies. Are you excited? I bet you have Feb. 14 circled on your calendars. Don’t ya? Come on ... All you have to do is close your eyes and open your hands to a brand new (insert gift-wish(es) here).
I bet it’s like Christmas in February, only we (men) get the short end of the Virginia Pine.
Sure, most of us will probably get lucky for our efforts—you know, the whole flowers, candy and dinner-by-candle-light routine. And then there are some of us who go the extra mile for the booty: you know, rose-pedals leading to the bedroom yada, yada, yada.
And let’s not forget about the “proposers.” Oh, what a corny bunch they are. Really, asking a woman to marry you on Valentine’s Day is like asking Christ to appear on Easter (it’ll register later).
But our pretenses at romance aren’t what make the evening special, huh ladies? Even a tomfool knows better than that. Rather, it’s the end result—the charm bracelets, diamond earrings and anything else that sits under a glass case, or along the inner-lining of a street-hustlers trench-coat (she doesn’t have to know fellas).
Alas, for every bended-knee, open jewelry-box and snapped price tag, there’s an empty wallet just waiting to be whole again. And what do we, the suitors, get in return? No-thing; a trip to “Getsomebootyland,” perhaps, but then again, don’t we boyfriends have season passes there anyway?
Seriously, Valentine’s Day sex isn’t a gift. Hell, it’s not even a consolation prize. It’s merely the lesser half of an inequitable exchange.
So, what if she slips on some over-priced lingerie? We ain’t wearin’ any of it once “the do” is done—unless you’re into that sort of thing. And for those of you women who plan on dusting-off that stripper pole this year—don’t. Stripping at home hasn’t been sexy since Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance in “True Lies”—which was quite some time ago, so the rest of you might as well cancel that last-minute class at the YMCA.
Besides, we don’t particularly care about how bedazzled your kitties are. Don’t get me wrong, “arts and crafts” is a sacred elementary school pastime. But while you’re gluing beads, glitter, crystals and whatever else to regions-nether, we’ll be at the local shopping mall or boutique, spending cash like it’s going out of style.
Indeed, retailers everywhere can hardly wait until this weekend, when procrastination and reluctant spending will join forces to create heightened revenue. (And they say our economy has gone to rubble. What a bunch of malarkey). In fact, this year’s sales report will prove one of two things: A) Your average Joe has more money than the media is letting on, or B) Your average Jane is clever enough to make him spend the little he has left. Either way, thousands upon thousands of monetary sacrifices are bound to be made, just as they were in years past.
Last year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that the American public (aka men) spent an average of $103 on Valentine’s Day items. This average is down only half a buck from the previous year’s. So, I guess it’s safe to assume that even the big, bad recession is no match for hints, clues, strategically placed jewelry ads and outright requests.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, ladies and yes, $103 is an underwhelming amount. But this number is merely an approximation, which means that some men spent a whole lot more, whereas others spent a whole lot less—but we’re still spendin’. And that’s what V-day is all about in a nutshell: men giving and women taking. I refuse to believe otherwise.
So ladies, if within the next few days you mention “love” or “romance,” here’s a suggestion: wash your mouths out with moonshine and take a long, hard look in the mirror, because the last time I checked, those words weren’t synonymous with “Fendi” “Gucci” or “Prada,” which is what you’d probably prefer instead. Why pretend like anything less would do? Apparently, we don’t.
C. Alexander Haywood is an emerging columnist and sophomore journalism student at Santa Monica College.
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