Don't Be My Valentine

Roland Martin | 2/12/2009, 9:33 p.m.
With retailers hurting and the U.S. president trying to encourage Americans to spend money to restore consumer confidence, what I'm ...

With retailers hurting and the U.S. president trying to encourage Americans to spend money to restore consumer confidence, what I'm about to say may seem like treason. But here goes: Please boycott Valentine's Day and all that is associated with this horrendous "holiday."

For several years, I have ripped into Valentine's Day, not because I'm against love and relationships but mainly because the holiday is such a farce.

First of all, Valentine's Day is not built around a religious event like Christmas or Easter; nor does it have any special meaning to the nation like Memorial Day or Veterans Day.

It is nothing more than a commercial holiday created by rabid retailers who needed a major shopping day between Christmas and Easter in order to give people a reason to spend money.

Now, folks, I love my wife. She is truly an awesome woman and is smart, talented, fine, and did I say fine? But do I really need a special day to show my affection for her?

I've long maintained that if I've sent my flowers at other times during the year, why should I have to fall victim to peer pressure and send her some roses that have quadrupled in price leading up to Feb. 14?

Why should I be inundated with mailings, e-mails and commercials telling me to show her that I love her by buying jewelry or clothing? If we went shopping in June or September, could I get some kind of waiver or "get out of Valentine's Day" card?

As for this silly flower thing, it even has gotten to the point that just any old flowers won't do. Some years ago, I planned on sending a woman some flowers that weren't roses, and my (female) co-workers were aghast. They felt that nothing mattered except roses.

First of all, I didn't have a lot of dough and felt a nice bouquet was sufficient, but they were appalled. So I told them to go to hell and that I'd do what I wanted. I guess for them, the thought really doesn't matter.

Then there are the women who measure the love of their men based on those flowers. You know how some folks are. If there are flowers on the desks of 10 women and one woman doesn't have anything, folks get to talking and whispering as if something were wrong in her relationship.

I've learned that even if you get the biggest-ever rose bouquet, the relationship might be crumbling, and you just refuse to admit it.

And Valentine's Day really isn't even a two-way street. Men are utterly irrelevant except to serve as pawns in this commercial game, emptying their wallets in order to satisfy their lovers or those around them. Oh, yeah, retailers know the con game.

Most of these guys emptying their wallets are hapless saps who have ignored their wives or girlfriends all year, so they buy flowers and candy and set reservations at expensive restaurants, all to say, "Honey, I love you."