edited: Wednesday, February 13, 2008
By Karen Harrington
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008
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Has it officially "jumped the shark"?
WRITERS DAVE DIOTALEVI AND KAREN HARRINGTON WEIGH IN.
Karen, this whole Valentine thing has been taken out of a man's hands. Companies are trying to sell us ideas and products and force us to fit in to a mold.
Well, Dave, maybe the “sell” tactic has been ineffective. The U.S. Greeting Card association estimates that 85% of all Valentine’s cards are purchased by WOMEN.
Sure, Karen--you women are giving them to EACH OTHER! You think a piece of cardboard with a couple of words on it, some sparkles, and a painted flower is worth 5 bucks. That’s a coupla beers...I mean, please break out of that trance you’ve been lulled into.
Come on, Dave. Every man I meet tells me he needs a woman to be specific and direct. Valentine’s is just one more way a couple – not just the guy - can have a specific and direct objective: to celebrate each other’s love. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Where has your sense of romance gone?
I really don't need to be told when and where and how to be romantic. I just let the ol' Diotalevi charm waft its way to a lady--and then the MAGIC happens!
Now, you’re reminding me of an ex-boyfriend. We had our names made into a heart puzzle shape – Karen + Steve. When we broke up, I handed him the “Steve” part. To which he replied, “but that’s not very romantic.” Yeah, magical.
Please give me Steve’s number so I can congratulate him on the close call. The puzzle--WHOSE idea was it to spend Steve’s hard-earned cash on that puzzle? YOURS! Because you had some prefabricated film concept of two pieces separated but whole. You bought into some advertisement while poor Steve was probably right there--the REAL goods and not some symbol--ready to wait on you hand and foot just because you’re gorgeous. He never saw the portrait you keep of yourself in the attic I take it.
Actually, I just wanted the name puzzle because I thought it would look nice on our mantle.
Companies are out to make a buck--admit it. They want a guy to try and keep up with an image on TV or a magazine regardless of how he truly feels. That artificial guilt is what drives guys nuts and then makes a woman feel like she's being neglected, taken for granted, and undervalued.
Sure, sure, media and movies contribute to romantic ideals. But what I want to know is exactly when did celebrating Valentine’s Day officially jump the shark? The Valentines exchange of love messages has existed since poor St. Valentine’s himself was martyred on February 14, 269 AD. I mean, a MAN started this whole thing. So the modern man doesn’t have time to write personal love messages anymore and he gets Hallmark to help him. What’s the big deal?
Some of St. V’s captors probably had mystical visions of what he was going to put men through for the next millennia and said, “Time to teach this guy a lesson!” Time to write is one thing, but a written note is never right with a woman: it’s too short, you didn’t say you love me enough, when are you going to stop writing like a doctor--it goes on and on. But Hallmark--then you get ooohhs and aaahhhs--for 5 bucks again.
Ouch! Well, I guess she of the “you didn’t say you love me enough” era didn’t realize you were going to turn out to be such a prolific fiction writer, huh? Oh, and it was the prison guard’s daughter to whom St. Valentine wrote his last affectionate message – “Love, from your Valentine.” I’m pretty sure there wasn’t any media propaganda back then forcing his pen to the page.
Okay. Okay. Got me on that point. Maybe it would have been better if the guard’s daughter had slipped Val a key to his shackles as a sign of her devotion for the first Valentine’s day! Now THERE’S a gift!
But men don't need a special day to commemorate some unattainable ideal of love. Love is something that can be shown constantly without some "authority" legislating it in the media.
Men don’t need a special day? I beg to differ. As evidence, I call my first witness from that timeless classic Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.
Violet: Charlie Brown, we've been feeling awfully guilty about not giving you a Valentine this year. Here, I erased my Valentine from this one. I'd like you to have it.
Schroeder: Hold on there! What do you think you're doing? Who do you think you are? Where were you yesterday when everyone else was giving out Valentines? And now you have the nerve to come around one day later and offer him a used Valentine just to ease your conscience. Well let me tell you something - Charlie Brown doesn't need your –
Charlie Brown: Don't listen to him! I'll take it!
So, Karen, you’re teaching me about offering unique and special Valentines by quoting an old Valentine ABOUT a recycled Valentine? And do you wonder why men are confused, scared, and cowed into digging that two beers--I mean--five bucks out of their pockets and buying a card that is embarrassing as the female cashier reads it and says, “Awwww!”
All I can say to you, Karen, is...Happy Valentine’s Day!
Well, thanks, Dave. I guess what it comes down to is this: If every guy or girl expressed thoughts of appreciation and love on their own, we wouldn’t need a row of cards to do it for us. But as writers, we really don’t want people to stop buying other people’s words, do we?
Happy Valentine’s to you, too, Charlie Brown…I mean, Dave.
Dave Diotalevi is the author of MIRACLE MYX
Karen Harrington is the author of JANEOLOGY