Valentine’s Day may just be the new Christmas. Only, instead of finding pleasure in giving, it’s receiving that yields the ultimate reward. The “love struck” flock to the florist and clamber for candy. But whether you’re buying fancy chocolates and sparkly jewelry, or actually hiring a hooker, face the facts: Valentine’s Day is a front for just that—prostitution. Either way, you are doling out the dollars in exchange for sex.
This year, Zales, a supposedly reputable and very well known jewelry retailer, hopped on the commercial bandwagon right on schedule. But, instead of tapping into your tear ducts with the clichéd “father at war” narrative, they decided to slither underneath the sheets with the likes of basically every lingerie and underwear retailer in the country (though they are certainly classier than, say, a sheer maid’s uniform). First, we see a lovely young couple sitting down to a fancy meal, dressed to the nines. They go through the typical motions of a dinner date, until suddenly…
He whips out the jewelry box, her eyes glaze over as she examines the contents, and then she extends her hand suggestively just as the upper left hand corner of the screen reads: The Check Please Store. That’s when it hit me square in the eye—red doesn’t mark February 14th as a day of love, but instead makes reference to the promiscuity that most often misconstrue as love. He may not have handed her hundreds of dollars outright, but that mystery item implies his underlying hope that she will “repay” him to show her gratitude. (We all know why they’re calling it the “check please” store.)
Yet, while the “bitter” members of society condemn Valentine’s Day for being a conspiracy devised by greeting card companies and chocolatiers, Victoria’s Secret is running a sale on bras that push your breasts up and out, completely defeating the purpose of a bra, and lace panties that ride up in the rear, giving you a perpetual wedgie that makes you feel awkward, not sexy. However, all these items are sold under the assumption that you won’t be wearing much for long.
Sex does not equal love, but society is too busy copping a feel to realize that the heart does not reside in one’s undergarments. Love radiates from your commitment to stand by someone in good times and bad, not your willingness to get naked. Coughing up cash to coerce your sweetheart into bed displays selfish intent—and selfish, love is not. (Don’t misconstrue my meaning, either. This can go both ways. We live in a time where stupidity is split 50/50. Women are just as guilty as men.)
Keep those pennies. Share your feelings, and do so frequently. One day a year? That’s for emotion cheapskates. Money can’t buy you love… but it may afford you a venereal disease or two.