Friday, February 12, 2010

Why I Hate Valentine's Day

(in which I use a lot of hyphens)

Completely aside from the whole haven't-had-a-valentine-in-a-decade thing, Valentine's Day grates on my nerves, a kind of Christmas-without-the-goodwill-toward-men fake-fuzzy holiday.

Maybe I feel that way because I work in retail?

One year ago, prior to my entry into tech support, I received two memorable Valentine's Day calls. The first was a marriage proposal. Yes, my service is really that good. The second? A man who claimed that he would be sleeping on the couch that night and it was all my fault. He had ordered his wife's gift and chosen the slowest shipping method known to mankind, in order to save money. Sadly, UPS left his box on a truck, and it was going to arrive a day late. The only things I could think of were, "If the success of your marriage depends on the timely arrival of your Valentine's Day gift, perhaps slow-as-molasses-but-free shipping is not the way to say I love you," and, "Here, let me direct you to the marriage self-help books..."

Today the onslaught began. One reason, perhaps, that I dislike this holiday is the cultural attitude that we have that says men can behave like *insert anatomically correct term here* the rest of the year if they just play right on this day. On the one hand, it puts far too much pressure on them and on the other, far too little. And how many men, feeling the pressure to find the 'perfect' gift to somehow prove their love, freeze under that pressure and end up ordering the gift very, very late...and then calling poor people like me to complain that I have single-handedly ruined their love life? Sigh.

Today I had a rather reverse call. A husband had been given an item for Valentine's day by his wife. Think of an iPod Touch. Only...he already owns one. And she bought it two months ago. Like, before Christmas. And she never noticed he already owned one! And now he's mad that we won't take it back for a full refund, because it has been too long since it was purchased.

So, lemme tell you: It doesn't matter how much you spend on the gift. It doesn't matter if UPS delivers it on time. It doesn't matter if a giant snowstorm invades half of your country and stops all deliveries. What matters is how much attention you pay to the actual person, how you treat them the other 364 days of the year. Changing diapers, fixing the cupboard door, a back rub, remembering to tell them how you feel every day...those things are worth far more. And UPS can't lose them.

1 comment:

shadowspring said...

Excellent post, Jen!