Published: Feb 19, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Feb 17, 2013 04:57 PM
Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone.
For all the single ladies out there, it is a day of dread and gloom. I think it is probably the case for the men, too, whether they are in a relationship or not.
Single gals see happy couples walking around and wonder what is wrong with us? Why don’t we have that someone special in our lives?
Advertisers bombard us with Hallmark commercials about true love and commitment. Lingerie ads run non-stop on TV and in magazines. And let us not forget the hundreds of “fine jewelry” commercials.
“Tell her you love her with my Open Hearts collection,” Jane Seymour says as she hocks her wares for Kay Jewelers. “Every kiss begins with Kay,” the jingle plays as the commercial ends.
“He went to Jared,” another commercial proclaims as a man proposes to his girlfriend. The onlookers gaze at the ring in admiration. One female spectator looks at her partner and makes the pointed statement, “HE went to Jared,” and without words her eyes say, “And you didn’t.” Epic FAIL on his part! No one wants to be that guy.
With every shop you enter, you are accosted with images of things for your lover on Valentine’s Day. Chocolates. Cards. Perfumes. Flowers.
And forget about dining on the cursed V-day at a restaurant, which have VERY romantic prix fixe menus printed for the occasion. It is impossible because all the tables have been booked weeks in advance.
And all you want to do, single gals and guys, is forget that the day exists.
Some will say that I am just bitter because I don’t have that special someone in my life. But I don’t think that’s true. I think I envy that kind of connection, but am not bitter when others have it.
I have several friends who happen to be in good relationships. I’m really happy for them. They are my role models for my future romantic life. Seeing their happiness keeps my hope alive that someday I will find someone who cares that much about me.
But the kind of love that I want, and the kind of love that my favorite couples have, isn’t the kind put on display one day a year. It isn’t about buying expensive jewelry or a fancy dinner. It’s about the little things.
Like remembering that I hate shitake mushrooms and making sure none can be found in the Asian food we eat. Or letting me sit on the side of the booth that is not under the air vent because I catch a chill easily. Or knowing when I need space and allowing me to have it.
It is about being considerate.
When I think about Valentine’s Day and what it is supposed to signify, and then think about the soulless money-making industry that it is today, I think why bother. Men should not let the industry guilt them into proving to everyone else how much they care about their significant other with material things.
That’s not love. And if that is what I’m supposed to expect, you can keep it!
Your actions every other day of the year prove how much you care. Send flowers just because. Take the kids for an afternoon. Hire a cleaning service to spruce up the house. Surprise her with a weekend staycation for two.
Those tiny little things add up. Plus, if you’re foolish enough to forget Valentine’s Day, those little things you did throughout the year just might be your “get out of the doghouse free” card.Khuwailah “Cookie” Beyah is a research associate at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.
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