Sunday, February 13, 2011

One Down, 364 Days To Go

Once again, I have been noticing heart shaped candies in communal spaces, which look and probably taste like last year's.

Valentine's Day is a strange celebratory event.  The concept of "I love you" (once a year, here's a card, confectionery, flowers or a tie, now leave me alone), is foreign to me.  To limit our appreciation and affection for those we care about to one day of the year, while showering them with thoughtless junk, seems counterintuitive.

We scramble to show love and affection by purchasing unimaginative mass-produced cards and gifts in an effort to meet yet another marketing campaign for happiness through the consumption of strategic merchandise.  Before Christmas decorations have a chance to be put out of their misery by being marked down to more than 50% off, the pink and red invasion is already placed on shelves.

With military precision, mostly pink stuffed animals holding ubiquitous heart-shaped pillows parade on store shelves, ready to declare war peace on a household or loved one.  While conservation and recycling is in all of our collective consciousness of late, this does not prevent manufacturers from producing synthetic emotions in the form of plush toys that will eventually end up on a landfill.

With annual amusement, I know that by late February 14th, hormonal teenagers will line up outside variety stores and sweat in card stores in a frantic search for amorosity.  Inevitably, they will leave with funeral flowers and cliched cards, hoping that they might achieve a declaration of their undying love.

Victorians are somewhat responsible for the kitschy images of cherubic children with wings that would not allow a small chicken to become airborne. When did handmade go out of style?  Among friends and family, I am the frequent, willing and grateful recipient of new hobbies and interests.  Someone made it, baked it, constructed it, built it, wrote it, thought of it.  Even though I am not always certain of what "it" is that I have just been gifted (or where to put it), I like "it" anyway.

Just as I was bemoaning the lack of creativity of contemporary cards and gifts, a friend sent me this:
Created by Stephanie Burrows and available here.

I "heart" science.

I "heart" my family and friends.

I "heart" my fellow bloggers, readers, followers and commenters.

Commercial symbolism is contagious.

Have a healthy heart day.


  1. Heart those science cards.
    Your points are valid. Inane is the perfect word. Love (or more likely lust) makes our brains weak and marketers and advertisers know this all too well.
    P.S. Look at how your followers are growing. Now that's love.

  2. Laoch, they are clever aren't they?
    What a great way to celebrate the creators, who have made so much possible.

  3. dbs, don't tell anyone! I "love" those cards.
    The expectations and pressure that comes with it...
    Followers and commenters? As Dr. Cyn put it: "reverse jazz hands" :)

  4. As a Valentines Day card for my wife, I should look for a card picturing some pond scum which reads: "My love for you has yet to fully evolve to it's highest potential".

    Nahhhh! She gets the usual arranged bouquet of the sexual organs of the species, "Rosa kordesii."

  5. Robert, evolution is a good thing. Even "pond scum" has its valuable place in the ecosystem. :)

    Since you know the species name of the rose, which I had to look up, do I sense some "love"?

  6. Fantastic post, Antares Cryptos ('Constellation', for short).
    You had me smiling from the first line and by the time I got to the bottom of the 'page' I was shaking with laughter. The science cards are the best - mind you, so is the 'something inane just for YOU' (in caps?! YOU must be very special). Thanks ++.

  7. Claire, thank you :)
    I knew that the visually minded would notice my contribution to the gift card industry. They ARE so inane. (I make cards for F&F).

    Wonder what would happen if I ever suggested it to one of them. I just had a satisfying "Loki" moment.

  8. Seriously. Whatever happened to handmade?

    And you're right on time. Thanks for the cookies!

  9. My house smells like beautiful flowers. Also I got lucky last night. And taken out to dinner today. Yep. I like valentine's day.

    We did discuss Nikola Tesla over breakfast though, as it happens, so I say we still get hip points for that.

  10. Man, that Stephen Hawking one is kind of creepy.

  11. Science Valentines. Genius at work. What is not to love about this specific source of inspiration? I am troubled by the lengthy overlap of seasonal products in, shall we say, drug stores. I also agree about a day set aside to market affection. But then much of what we do, as a people, baffles me. Better to express love one day a year than not at all, if those are the choices. Homegrown, heart-felt and daily - worthy goals.

  12. Have you ever seen that Simpsons where they make "Love Day." Your post reminds me of that. Anyway, I too share your sentiments about V day. Counterintuitive and borderline making one lose faith in humanity. Oh well, what else is new?

  13. @Gaelic wife, yes. Like making coffee.;)

    @Tattytiara, discussing Tesla the morning after "flowers"? He's a keeper!

    Movie recommendation: "A brief history of time".

  14. Marylinn, agreed. I noticed it too. While bookstores may be struggling thanks to the big "A", every year the gift section is getting larger.

    Making someone a tea or coffee is also an expression of affection.

    Knowing the exact chemical composition, ratio of ingredients and heat dispersion rate of the beverage, now that's "love". :)

  15. Paulsifer, can't recall, I'll look for it. Thanks.
    With people like you in the world, my faith in humanity is restored.

    I hope your wife saw the beautiful post you wrote about her. That is what I was talking about.

  16. This may sound mushy but my hubby and I show we love each other every day. And he gets lucky so often that Valentines' Day is just another day. We have a rule. IF we buy/make a gift it can't be over $5. So normally it's something thoughtful, something we know the other will like. Even if it is just a packet of our favourite lollies. Last year I made a bouquet out of his favourite lollypops. This year we bought a gift because it was easier, seeing we were on holidays.
    Besides, I remember how crummy I felt being single on Valentines Day. It's a cruel day for someone who is lonely.
    Valentines Day isn't that big over here.
    One holiday they DO promote here which drives me nuts is Halloween. The origions of the festival has nothing to do with Australia, and yet moorons still celebrate it. GGRRRR!

    P.S I am back. In one piece. Miss me? :)

  17. Not mushy at all. That was my whole point.
    I like the lolly idea. People forget how simple it is to just have some fun and bring out that inner child.

    Sprite. Seriously? Who didn't?
    How is Moby?

  18. aww...
    He is still alive. Has his head leaning on the screen door, staring at me. Think I better go show him some love.

  19. I love these! Especially the last four. Damn my being so busy on the weekends that I missed this.

  20. Vinny, I know. I think they're awesome too.
    No worries, my blog comes with a no deadline for comments clause.:)

  21. I am totally with you as far as the commercialism and only showering people with love once a year. I do not "play the game" and prefer to go to a movie and dinner with my husband on another day. As far as cards, I write my own to my husband.

  22. Hmmm... I seem to have something of yours.

  23. Gutsy, agreed. What you call "playing the game", I call "in your face". Where's the "love" when couples are told what to get and singles feel left out?

  24. Vinny ?
    Wallet, check. Keys, check. What did you take?

  25. You left your fuzzy bunny slippers at my place.

  26. Sprite, those are DEFINITELY not mine!

    Ask Vinny, thought I saw him shuffling around in something pink and fuzzy.

  27. Dude, ix-nay! She'll know about the arty-pay

  28. Dude. I told you to find the button on the vacuum thingy.


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