Friday, February 11, 2011

following the bandwagon- a post about valentine's day.

I feel like some sort of blogging machine (kind of). I have a post half-way finished about weddings being a competition (I may have said what I feel about this already but this is another example), and I'm sure there'll be plenty of pictures coming from Nic and my early foray into blackberry picking tomorrow (hopefully there will be some!), and then Nic's-Epic-Valentine's-Day-Plans for Sunday.
Which is sort of what I want to talk write about today.

Because all my blogs are flooded with V-Day stuff. Printable cards, cards to buy, cakes to bake, etc. There are a hundred flower ads on the radio at the moment. It's pretty hard to ignore. But usually that's a US/North America/Rest of the world thing. I refer you to Halloween. Long hailed as an "American tradition" that was "Too American" for Australians, we never did it.
Sure, you'd occasionally see kids in the 'burbs dressed up... maybe 5 kids... but that was it. You didn't bother to buy lollies/candy because nobody would ever come knocking. I don't know when it happened, but at some point in the last few years, something changed.

Just before Nic & I left for North America in October last year, there were halloween buckets in the supermarket, special 'scary' candy, witches hats and noses for sale... thing you would have had to go to a party store to buy before... now in the major supermarket chain.
Don't get me wrong, I fricken love Halloween. You should have seen me in Courtenay, BC, the day before, when all the kids in town dressed up and got candy from the shopkeepers (doesn't that term sound antiquated?! Top of the morning to you, shop-keep! Have you any .... um... iron... monger...?! Ok so clearly I don't know what sorts of things you'd buy back in the day, but you get the point).

You too could buy this heart-shaped potato and give it to your loved-one. Now available on ebay, highest bid + $18 shipping (seriously). {via}

But it's this whole commercialization of the event that is suddenly coming to the fore... the idea that you have to get a gift, or have to show your person how much you love them and if you don't get material things you don't really love them (similar to a lot of engagement ring debates, hey?). And look, I'm not against getting presents, and I'm certainly not against going out and doing things together as a couple (though it shouldn't take a 'day' to be inspired to do this)... it's just... I'm not sure of the point I'm making.
-Commercialism = bad.
-Using holidays as a reason to do things = ok, but shouldn't be the only reason.
-Being guited/shamed into doing things because it's a holiday = bad.

Valentines day here is becoming more like Halloween: something you knew about but didn't really pay all that much attention to, because it's not so big a deal. I still don't think it's as big a deal as it is in the US. I feel like I'm sort of getting a 'skewed view' on things because I read all these blogs and websites written in the US and people are going crazy about V-day and maybe I sort of generalize that over to life here where actually, nobody cares.

But! I am looking forward to seeing what Nic has planned because I'm super sneaky and usually if he thinks of something to surprise me with I take all the little tiny things he says about the thing and I figure it out and shatter all his hopes and dreams and send him into a funk. But this time, he has eluded me! I don't know what's going on, which is killing me, but it's ok, surprises are fun, I don't need to be in control, I can let someone else plan thing, I don't need to know what's going on, what to wear, when to leave, what to pack, it's all going to be ok (the control freak in me is quietly hyperventilating in the corner).... He's super excited, and although I find it difficult to get as excited since I don't know what's going on (downfall to surprises!) it's still awesome and I'm looking forward to it, and he's bursting to tell me but can't because then I'll know.

He's asked me about 3 times now if I'm planning anything (I can't, hon, because I don't know what your plans are and so can't plan around your plans! <- Also a sneaky way to get out of having to think of anything to do), so I wonder if I should be, or should be getting him something. Maybe I should write a card. Maybe my genuine surprise at not knowing what we're doing or where we're going will be enough of a present.

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