Among my favorite and most vivid schoolboy memories is Valentine's day. With barely an effort I can still conjure up the fresh smell of chalk and chocolate, and the joyful sounds of giggling girls and tortured boys as we all sorted through and passed out our Valentine cards.
Sure, it was a holiday created and perpetuated by the greeting card companies, but who cares? We got cards from pretty girls and candy from loving parents, and everyone, everywhere seemed happy and dare I say, in love.
But that was then and this is now.
The greeting card industry lost control of this holiday about two decades ago, when the floral industry and the candy industry and the alcohol industry and the restaurant industry and all the other sweetheart industries found a loophole in the "love" rule.
And what was once a beautiful and innocent day of swooning and smooching is now an ugly example of what my dad used to call a businessman's holiday.
So I have to ask: what will you give (or get) this Valentine's day? Maybe a Vermont Teddy Bear or a lovely floral bouquet from 1-800-IMPERSONAL. Perhaps a sexy baby doll tap set from Pajamagram or a heart pendant from Tiffany & Co. Personally I am holding out for the Couples Massage gift certificate.
Or maybe I'll go Web 2.0 and send an e-card or just tweet my sweet.
Perhaps this year, regardless of what else we do or whatever goofy gift we decide on, we should all take a moment to look our loved ones in the eyes. Embrace your significant other, your children, your parents, whoever. Go nose to nose and just stare for a moment. Then tell them in no uncertain terms – with all the honesty and innocence you can muster up – I love you. I promise you, they won't know what hit them.
Happy Valentine's Day.
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