February 13, 2009

Love me for ONE day

If you guessed that this post was about Valentine's Day, you're dead on. It's one of those things that you probably frowned upon when you were single. Or if you were anything like us, went out with all your other single friends and had a blast yourselves... or it's one of those things with astronomical proportions, now that you are hitched. What gift to buy your significant other? Is it really required? What if you don't buy him anything as you both had agreed and he surprises you with something? And all those other dimensions in the whole game of sexual politics.

But I find it extremely odd that someone chooses ONE day off 365 to feel loved. As in, every other special day probably directly relates to you (think birthdays, anniversaries) or to your culture/religion (Diwali, Christmas). But this whole Mother's Day, Father's Day, Brother's Day and Valentine's Day business is just that - business. Apparently even in this economic crash, the United States is expected to spend close to $14.7 million (Google News) over gifts/chocolates/candy and what not. And this is what has brought what is predominantly a Western culture thing eastwards to India and other countries. Not that I think you should go boycotting it and massacring people the way Ram Sene is doing in Karnataka. It's people's own decision to celebrate what they want and any political party cannot assume the rights to tell them what they can/cannot celebrate. Many people keep it simple and make reservations for dinner and go out just as a couple. That's fine, considering if you were to dine out on any other day, why not strategically on a world-wide romance day? But the whole "Be my Valentine" thing is overrated, especially if you are in a long-term relationship, like marriage. Wouldn't it make sense to celebrate a more personally special day such as your anniversary, for instance rather than jump the bandwagon with a bunch of romance-crazed teenagers? Small gestures by either of you would normally be considered sweet on any other day... but the reputation of the day somehow demands something bigger. Like, you are hardly likely to consider it a gesture worthy of Valentine's Day if your husband did the laundry/picked up the groceries/washed the car/put in 100€ into your savings account, etc. on this day. On any other day this would've probably meant a lot more. And somehow the expectations of this day are far more personal. And they illogically do not fall into the 'you-love-me' category unless it's especially for you. Be it a card, flowers, candy, jewelry, lingerie or whatever else that it is that people buy these days.

Personally, I think people should opt for the watered-down version. Keep it simple. Do something together that gives you joy, if you feel the need to celebrate the day, that is... Maybe go for a hike, a riverside picnic or maybe just reserve the specialties for your own personal milestone days. Makes it far more special, don't you think, when you are celebrating something that is known just to the two of you, rather than the entire universe... Something to think about.. On that note, advance Happy Valentine's Day :)

15 comments:

Gandalf said...

Agree with you completely. It's so weird that you have to be 'in-love' for a day n all that. It's all showcasing if you ask me. And a lot of money as you've pointed out. Good post.

Radhika said...

You're right.. itz mindless. But i feel that people give into peer pressure. maybe they don't want to sound like lozers when they say theyre doing nothing special for VDay.Itz like they want to say that they're hep n hot too. But anyone sensible might agree with you unless they are doe-eyed romantics in the first place. Happy V-Day to you too!

Sachin said...

Even I agree and have this opinion since a long time. Thats y v r friends - like minds. Everyday is Valentine for me and as it has been a debate here in Mumbai by the Shiv Sena, its more of a business strategy than anything else. And the mother's day and father's day concepts are just ridiculous. And if anyone believes this concept, then I want to ask them, what do they do on Gurupournima, if they are Hindus. Do they even think of their teachers, visit them or sorts?

Jaya said...

Gandalf, Radhika & Sachin -> Thanks for agreeing with me. I guess that just means that we are not the die-hard romantics, have no expectations off our partners or that we don't give into peer pressure, if any. And I suppose we are all of the opinion that contributing into this 'business' is not for us. I guess in most cases, the celebrations past that crazed teenage phase is probably bcoz of the expectations of one of the partners for something just a li'l out of the ordinary, perhaps. And maybe that's normal. Keep visiting!

Anonymous said...

I think you shd write a whole other post abt sexual politics. What we expect or are expected to do from/by our partners etc. It'll make for a very interesting discussion. As for this post, I hear you entirely.

Jaya said...

Anon -> I am not sure how many people will appreciate a post like that in which the 'politics' probably vary from couple to couple. Thanks and keep visiting!

Vidhya said...

I personally don't care much for Valentine's day but for many its probably an excuse. For couples with kids, crazy schedules this is probably another excuse to have a nice quite romantic dinner. Giving each other small personal gifts is probably a way of keeping the romance alive and letting the other person know you still think they are "all that" (beautiful, sexy..).

Jaya said...

Vidhs -> All that can happen on any other day as well. The day is an excuse... just a market boost is what I think it is... And did you know that every place is usually booked in advance for V Day? Add the extra charges on the day and you have a nightmare making plans. Instead, set your own romance day and have it all hassle-free.

Vidhya said...

Thats wat I said J..Its an excuse..
Sometimes people need "named days" instead of making any day special..u know wat I mean. You get so busy that u overlook having alone time with the significant other.
I agree that reservations on that night can be pain. But that probably makes scoring one extra special :P
On the whole I was just trying to see what it might mean for people in different walks of life.

Bala said...

To continue from where Vids left...

I personally don't care about these days (valentine, father, mother, ... brother, sister, uncle, aunt,...)

On a different take, V. day is not less paradoxical to me than any other day like Independence day, for that matter! If on an Independence day, I am happily sleeping and someone comes & forces me to sing patriotic songs, salute & do all routine stuff... am I having freedom & independence in celebrating that day ?! Also, say after 1000 years, what are we trying to prove by celebrating Independence day!

At the same time, these days must have gotten evolved as a mark of respect, remembrance & dedication of some entity... be it person or concept (health, aids day) or anything under the sun. One should derive no more than that... All the practicalities (read as, issues surrounding it) are subjective and depends on how much importance one attaches to the idea behind these days.

In short, if celebrating Independence day yearly once makes (non)sense, then V. day (or any day) celebration should make equal (non)sense!

btw, am just wondering what would be the case, if St. Valentine had sacrificed his life on Feb 29th!

Jaya said...

Bala -> At least independence is a nationality-related celebration.. and sure we can celebrate having become "independent". Paradoxically, having attained independence, it's our wish whether to vocally celebrate it or not, as you pointed out. Funnily though, I doubt so many people even know the story behind V Day. It's not very inspiring. So many people have sacrificed their lives for a variety of causes and it certainly entails the question if a "day" were to be designated for each of these martyrs.

Balaji P G said...

I think V-day is more of a personal feeling rather than a unified thought. people try to feel special for a day and are happy about it. As long as this does not become a burden and makes you feel special it is ok to celebrate such days

Jaya said...

Balaji -> That's pretty much what we've agreed upon all over the comments space.. that it's an excuse to feel special.

Shiva kumar Shankar said...

i did not acknowledge this day, I did not celebrate it. Its nothing but a hype by the business to make a quick buck for them self. I prescribe to the same notion as to why to select just 1 day out of 365 to show your love, and if I need to make a day special, that's what birthdays and wedding anivs are for. Waste of time and money. Luckily PR takes it in the same way, so it was really nothing for us :)

Shiva kumar Shankar said...

Have to add like Bala I dont believe in mother's father's day either (dont know if siblings day exists, maybe I can bring that next and market it, rakhi is only in North India :P).

As for the Shiv Sena and their nonsense, I believe they have no business in dictating what each person/couple does. India is democratic country and people can do what they wish. No 1 appointed them as Moral police, and that is just plain BS. Ppl should voice out against such nonsense.

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