It's the week leading to Valentine's Day. There will be roses, chocolate and diamonds being tossed around between now and Friday night. It seems a little curious to me why we need to designate one day per year to express ourselves in these outward ways to the targets of our affections. Is it just me or shouldn't we feel the love every day?
This whole idea love must be structured seems a bit restrictive if not invasive upon the authenticity of love-in-action.
Let me explain. Do you remember when we were in grade school and the kids in class would bring a Valentine to school for every member of the class? That was the beginning of my disdain for the entire matter.
First of all, it was my belief only the people I really liked should get a Valentine from me, and only those who really liked me should give me one. I did not wish to receive a Valentine from any of the boys in my class as I felt nothing related to the observance had anything to do between them and me.
The teachers were quick to point out everyone should receive a Valentine so no one's feelings would get hurt. This may have been my first encounter with Socialism. The problem was that the kids were not in favor of the policy, but it made things easier for the teachers so a child who did not receive a Valentine from someone would not be in tears over it.
Fortunately, we all move past the early years of grade school and reach the point when we can fully discriminate on who gets a Valentine. It may be a mistake to use the word discriminate versus the better alternative of living in a state of liberty.
Last week, the smartest commentator in America (perhaps the world) was in Tyler, Charles Krauthammer. Among many enlightened statements he made was the analogy we have a Statue of Liberty not equality. I love that. Perhaps I should send him a Valentine and tell him so.
Back to the morass that is this holiday or observance or whatever it is.
An NPR article from Feb. 13, 2011 by Arnie Seipel suggests there is liberty related to the day after all. Here is an excerpt:
But that commercialization has spoiled the day for many. Helen Fisher, a sociologist at Rutgers University, says we have only ourselves to blame.
"This isn't a command performance," she says. "If people didn't want to buy Hallmark cards, they would not be bought, and Hallmark would go out of business."
Well, thanks a lot Helen that really settles it for those of us who were feeling the pressure. Now we can really piss off our wives and girlfriends and perhaps send them to you for a session of anger management and post-Valentine's trauma syndrome (PVTS) while we feel perfectly justified in rendering the Hallmark organization insolvent.
To sum up my thoughts on this matter from all the commentators mentioned —Let us enjoy liberty and freedom in life and love this week. Live and let live. Love and let love.
And for any of the men reading this, get your butts to Walgreens and buy a stinking card if you don't want to make your own coffee next Saturday morning.
Happy Valentine's week.
My 15-year-old son Jamie has some advice for you this week as well.
Woman crush Wednesday or #WCW
There is a growing phenomenon on the social media app Instagram called WCW or "Woman crush Wednesday." "WCW" is something that happens whenever a boy and girl are "talking." Talking nowadays can be anything from rarely texting to pouring your feelings out to that person three hours a night on the phone. Some people think there is no better way for the boy to show his affection than to tell all of his followers on Instagram this particular girl is his "WCW."
If you search #WCW in the hash tag search on Instagram you will get 47,060,023 results, this number is what I identified from a recent search.
Knowing what this is helps to understand the absurdness of the matter. It starts out with the boy most likely scrolling through all of the girl's pictures on any app that has pictures (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). He then proceeds to find the best picture he can possibly find so that no one will think his crush is unattractive.
Taking a screenshot of a picture or multiple pictures then inserting them into an app such as Pic Stitch would most likely be the next step. After all this is done, it is time to pick a filter. One wrong step in this editing process can be disastrous, because if you pick the wrong one the girl may be upset.
With the final product in hand, he puts it on Instagram and depending on the number of followers he has, it could generate anywhere from 0 to 150 likes. The number of likes you get is important to the boy's ego and the girl's self-esteem. Both can be severely damaged if the normal quota is not obtained.
After the first WCW the girl may be flattered and will most likely send you a lot of blushing emojis (these are things, such as little yellow smiley faces) and say how sweet you are when really she is just happy you shouted her out so she gets more followers now.
Woman crush Wednesdays are a part of much of the newsfeed you see on every Wednesday on Instagram. I personally think they should be banned. Losing friends, followers on Instagram, and respect can be outcomes of participating in this activity.
If any readers are a part of this, I beg you must stop. Your reputation, manhood, and man-card are on the line here.
This spectacle cannot be stopped anytime soon, but I hope I have reached a few people.
Tell your children and grandchildren since this is Valentine's week.