You Give Love a Bad Name

courtesy Rebeccah Lenhart

by Garrett Coble
opinions editor

Can you smell it?

No, I’m not referring to the ever-present stench that resides between the AC and Murrah, but rather something much sweeter. I’m talking about the aroma (or stench) that only comes around once a year and stands as February’s main attraction. This celebration is Valentine’s Day, the day when all those with a special someone loosen up their wallets and attempt to tug at their sweet’s heart strings. Because of the grandeur of the holiday, I felt it only right to devote today’s banter solely to Valentine’s Day itself.

My take on the holiday won’t surprise those who regularly venture into this dark corner of the website. Manhood aficionado and my role model Ron Swanson’s stance on birthdays seems an equally apt description of Valentine’s. In the words of the meat master himself, “The whole thing is a scam. (Valentine’s Day) was invented by Hallmark to sell cards.” I believe most of our male readership agrees: There’s nothing quite like the terror of examining the calendar and being ambushed by the date: 2/14. Even for those who plan, the gift giving could take an untold number of wrong turns. Some investments, such as chocolate, are safer than others. But you can never really be sure you’re safe until that clock rings in 12:01 a.m. on the 15th.

While true, the above rhetoric has been recycled repeatedly in an effort to describe the male plight of Feb. 14. The female situation, however, draws fewer columns or social media statuses. I sympathize with my female counterparts, because even when I shop for myself for items I need, I rarely end up with what I want. If I can’t make a beeline to the item and sprint to the cashier in under 10 minutes, misery ensues. Typically, the numerous variations of khakis or shampoo overwhelm me, and I either leave empty-handed or unsatisfied. While men must jump the hurdle of reading the female mind to figure out what it desires, women are forced to try and interpret a mind that doesn’t even know its own needs. It’s like trying to teach a dog dinner etiquette—the amazing things he can accomplish makes his failure to use the correct fork even more disappointing. (That metaphor might’ve been a bit of a reach, but I digress.)

Perhaps this one day of the year offers a standout example of the relationship dynamic; you get to see exactly to what lengths (or miseries) your significant other will subject himself or herself on behalf of your happiness. While there are definite benefits to boycotting the entire construction of Valentine’s Day, my inner economist argues that it is our patriotic duty to support the Love Industry. As for myself, I’ll be sucking it up, cinching up the belt, and braving the endless aisles to select the perfect heart, flower, and teddy (or real) bear—because after all, what says, “I love you” better than your own grizzly?

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