By Dan Cirucci
Once you get past the story of St. Valentine (the man who gave this day its name) the rest of Valentine’s Day is, well . . . trivial. And even that’s giving it more credit than it deserves. Over the year the whole meaning of the day has been squandered.
For example, I hate the ballad, My Funny Valentine.
To me the song is sad and preachy.
And we’re forced to hear it every year around this time.
The truth is that Valentine’s Day is a damned stupid “holiday.”
I don’t want to be a spoil sport but this is a classic Hallmark Holiday. It was created to generate commerce after Christmas, in the dead of winter when nobody really wants to go out.
And over the years Valentine’s Day has been pumped up into something so much more than it really is. It requires you to be loved, to have a sweetheart, to be wanted, to feel that you belong.
And if you don’t fit one of those categories, you’re pretty much left out.
Cupid passed you by. Tough luck. Stay away. Don’t show your face. Don’t spoil the day.
For guys, Valentine’s Day involves enormous anxiety and pressure.
Hey, guys don’t like to shop and they often have no sense of romance whatsoever.
So they seldom know what to do for their sweethearts.
Candy? It’s too fattening. Flowers? They die. Cuddly bears? They lose their cuddliness and wind up as part of the clutter. Jewelery? Often too expensive.
Even this morning, many guys are still in a quandary as to what to do, I see them roaming aimlessly at the CVS or the Walgreen’s looking for something, anything that will do that trick.
And then there’s the whole dining out thing.
The restaurants will be jammed with roses for the sweethearts, special menus (usually pricier) and lots of fawning and feigned affection.
And since Valentine’s Day comes on a three-day weekend this year there will be bigger package deals at area hotels, resorts and casinos. And you better believe these attractions will make sure they get every penny that’s coming to them.
Hey, capitalism is wonderful. And I don’t begrudge them whatever extra bucks they make. Especially this year when most businesses have been hard hit by the recent storms.
Still, there’s something beyond merely silly — something desperate — about Valentine’s Day.
And there’s nothing romantic about desperation. Nothing.
So, if you have somebody that loves you, be thankful every day and never take that person for granted.
And if you love somebody, let that person know that he or she is loved. Do special things spontaneously and enjoy life’s special moments and unexpected treats.
And if you don’t have somebody right now, be thankful for what you do have and enjoy the day anyway.
Indulge yourself away from all those forced funny Valentines.
But above all — don’t wait till Valentine’s Day.
Try to be a warm and loving person every day.
Dan Cirucci, the founder and editor-in chief of the Dan Cirucci Blog (http://dancirucci.blogspot.com/), is one of the most widely honored public relations professionals in his field and a public relations consultant to numerous organizations and individuals.