What’s Love Got To Do With It

Unless you’ve been living in a cave atop an isolated mountain, you can’t have escaped the barrage of commercials, news stories and print ads for the upcoming Valentine’s Day. Like most holidays that have evolved into a mass orgy of marketing, this day has been designated as a good time to push the economy out of its current slump. For those involved in romantic relationships, there is the added pressure of coming up with a present that demonstrates in a satisfactory manner to the object of their affection that they are loved to a sufficient degree worthy of them. Lest anyone be disappointed, florists, restaurants, and candy makers jack up the price of Valentine’s Day specials to at least three times their usual rates so we can all visibly see how much we’re loved.


Reported on NPR radio, the most unusual Valentine’s Day story this year comes out of Japan, where a particular company has instituted a policy whereby employees who have been jilted by their love are entitled to a bereavement leave. For those 25 years of age and under, this is one day. For those 26 to 40 –  2 days, and those over 40 – three paid days off. I suppose they think that those who are youngest will not be suffering long, as they will find another mate soon, whereas those who are oldest face the bleakest prospects, and deserve the most pity.  The story didn’t go into detail as to how long the relationship had to exist before one was eligible for this benefit, nor did it say what happened if everyone in the company felt the person was much better off without their love interest.


This had been a uniquely American celebration for a number of years (I had never heard of it until I moved to the States) but thanks to the globalization of the economy, my son now reassures me that it has caught on in France, and if Hallmark has it’s way, will soon be embraced throughout the world. Don’t misunderstand me. I believe in love, in showing it visibly to my beloved, not just for one day, but throughout the year. I only have a problem with the way Madison Avenue manipulates people into believing that caring and gift giving are totally synonymous, and that the amount spent on the gift is a direct reflection of how much you care. And in case you’re wondering –  yes, I’m not totally immune to this kind of manipulation even as I’m cognizant of its existence. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

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29 Responses to What’s Love Got To Do With It

  1. dawn says:

    it is, indeedity 😉 the air is thin up here, my friend .. you
    know. to scale the highest peaks, perhaps one needs to have had trudged
    through the lowest valleys
    i concur with your stand on the commercialization of V.day. lol. in spite of knowing, we allow ourselves to be "manipulated" :p     life, itself is very inconsistent and contradictory— it has to be, it
    exists through contradiction. life exists through death : any moment of great
    happiness will also be a great moment of sadness. one criteria of reality is presence of both the polarities. diametrical opposites. truth is very often a paradox, no?  anyway, Happy Valentine\’s Day, Jorge!! with affection, dawn

  2. Beth says:

    My husband and I always celebrated Valentine\’s Day with our daughter because it was her birthday.  As far as gifts, a card was always enough for me.  The love lasted until his death (over 50 years).  I think Valentine\’s Day has become commercialized.

  3. Etan says:

    If they had the jilted bereavement leave here when I was single I would have cleaned up! I could have taken the whole summer off every year. As long as I can remember Valentines day has been a big marketing event just like Mother\’s day has been. I can\’t say that I think it is altogether a bad thing though. Yeah they push for the big ticket items and play up the quilt factor but I always enjoyed picking up a little something special for my special ladies, now my wife and two daughters. Even at 3 and 5 they get excited at getting a card, a heart and some flowers. The return on investment is unparelleled.     

  4. Anastasia says:

    Your comments are right on point!  So many holidays have become opportunities to spend money with very little "love" behind the compulsion.  We have all come to give too much credit to the perceptions around us… not only how much our love percieves that we honor them, but how much others percieve we love and are loved.  I wonder if there is any way to remove all pretenses and begin again.  How many would make the effort if they had to write a love poem themselves without the benefit of Hallmark\’s "instant love-in-a-card" sentiments…

  5. PJ says:

    Good Afternoon Jorge,
    I totally agree with all you have written. Valentine\’s Day was one of the 3 days that my Father always sent me Roses. I miss him; therefore it just doesn\’t seem the same to me.
    May you have a wonderous week ahead.
    Until Next Time…..Keep Smiling.

  6. Embrace says:

    Wonderful Blog. I agree with you on how you show your Love to your Loved one. I too was thinking how they have Blown this way way out of Ordinary . Mass Marketing of Love or a person could be in big trouble.  That is funny.  Expectations build. Oh well.  Keep Smiling and
    Have a Happy Valentines Day with your Family
    Hugs to you my Friend

  7. Barb says:

    Darn after writing a prolific comment I managed to delete it!
    It\’s not easy being me:) Anywho.. I agree with your post
    completely. Apart from the commercialism there is also the
    feeling for those single, living alone or in solitude that something
    is wrong with them. sigh
    So half the population is over spending and half are mopping
    feeling inadequate.Thank goodness I don\’t fall into either group:)

  8. Marge says:

    As I write this, a good blogging friend has just found love, another is awaiting the birth of her child along with her hubby, and another is celebrating over three decades of wedded bliss. Steve and I are beginning our fifth month of marriage and don\’t need a special "occasion" to demonstrate our love for each other. Because we\’re a little churchmousey, there will be no dimonds (I\’m not a diamond kinda girl, anyway), no fancy imported chocolates (Steve often brings me chocolate goodies from work "just because"), and our special dinner will be in the warmth of our own home, prepared with love by my own hands. We\’ll coccoon together on Valentine\’s Eve, snuggled up under a fluffy blankie, watching Orange County Choppers. I\’m looking forward to it all!
    Happy Valentine\’s Day to you and your beloved, Jorge!

  9. Aimee says:

    *~* :o) always remember to be happy… :o) because you never know who is falling in love with your smile… :o) *~*

  10. Fenix says:

    Hello Jorge:

    I wish you a very happy San Valentine\’s Day!!!

  11. Holy says:

    As I read this, I\’m literally up to my eyeballs in V-Days stuff – none for Holy Hub yet, alas. :)Holy Daughter is to make a Valentine\’s Day box to stuff her cards and candy in, so we are fashioning a cat out of two different sized heart shaped boxes.  And of course there are all the little baggies and the cards that she had to make for her classmates.  Gone are the days when you only sent a Valentine to your bestest friends….things are more politically correct now – it\’s all or none.This is our 24th year together as a couple, so I confess to feeling more commercial guilt than anything if Holy Hub does go to the trouble of doing anything.  A quiet night at home with Holy Hub, sans homework and kids\’ distractions would be a blessing. To just sit and chill, drink a glass of shiraz, share some time, have Holy Son make homemade heartshape pizza and Holy Daughter serve us mousse in choc dessert cups while Holy Son serenades us with Orpheus in the Underword (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYeHtZrjN5o) ~ that works for me.  The Hallmark stuff – nah, not so much.I will say the holiday is much bigger here – but everything Hallmark is.  You wouldn\’t see people decorating doorways with hearts and such back home, whereas here, all the PTA Moms dress up in red and wear flashing heart pins and all other kinds of Cupidity stupidity. 

  12. Pamela says:

    May your Valentine\’s Day bring many joy-filled and heart-warming moments…
    as always, be well.

  13. Jane says:

    Warmed by the human conditionLove ensures we surviveBe thankful then, for lifeAnd give your heart unsparinglyReach out with comfort and caringShare a smileLove givenIs a gift to one\’s self ~Jane~

  14. Deborah says:

    I\’ve read that it takes the same number of days to stop pining for a lost love, as the days of the relationship lasted.  If that is the case, perhaps I am wise to engage in short term relationships.  My sister tells me that in Japan they celebrate Valentine\’s Day, but it is a day when the girls buy chocolate for the boys.  That would be better for my figure I guess.  Hope you get lot\’s of chocolate and flowers and expensive jewelry.  But only if you want them.
    Blessed be.

  15. Kathryn says:

    I do live on a mountain, but no cave *laugh* and yeah, the commericals – some are recycled Christmas commercials – *bore*….I\’m not a romantic, so it gets on my nerves…
    Rehearsals went great last night – but I ended up sliding down the road leading to my house – the road had frozen in between the time I left my log house and by time rehearsals were over -good gawd! sliding back in the pitch dark knowing there\’s a dropoff..taint fun….

  16. EbonyWyvernDragon says:

    I so agree with you on commercialization – but that is the American way – commercialize EVERYTHING……… and we do! Its all about the $$$$……….
    I actually resent all the commercialization of ALL holidays…….. for me, it actually takes much of the meaning of the holiday away.
    For Valentines Day, the signot and I had a mutual friend over for dinner – I made chicken soup with lots of veggies – just the way he likes it. I sent him an e-card. He wrote me an email.  He and I gave each kid a card and some candy – quietly. No pomp. No circumstance.
    and that, in my opinion, is probably STILL more recognition than the day needs…..
    hope you had a very Happy Valentines Day.

  17. Bittersweet on-the-hill. says:

    Hello Jorge……
    Thank you for visiting and a happy Valentine\’s to you.  Hope you and your wife shared an enjoyable day.  Bittersweet……still waiting for spring.

  18. Bittersweet on-the-hill. says:

    Hello Jorge……
    Thank you for visiting and a happy Valentine\’s to you.  Hope you and your wife shared an enjoyable day.  Bittersweet……still waiting for spring.

  19. Charlotte says:

    And Happy Belated Valentine\’s Day to you too.  It is always great to come here and read your uptake on life.  hugs, lottemae

  20. Gayle says:

    I don\’t really notice the day until the week of when everyone around me seems to go a little bonkers.  Don\’t get me wrong, it used be uncomfortable but, like all things that last a while, you get used to them.  I suppose I would be hurt if I had another in my life who didn\’t share the day with me.  As it is, I\’m okay with the \’Happy Valentine\’s Day\’ my daughter and I kiss to one another as I hand her breakfast.  Nice to make a quick visit – glad to see you are well.Gayle

  21. Stephen Craig says:

    Jorge,  Thank you for visiting the Painting Studio and for your comment.  Means more to me than words can say.  Thank you.  As ever be well.  Stephen Craig Rowe

  22. Donna says:

    I really enjoyed that blog, I found it quite funny! In Japan they give time off if you\’ve been dumped,(LOL)! Too, funny!! I agree, most of these occasions are too commercialized and your right love should be demonstrated everyday not just on, one particular day! Take care,

  23. Cheryl says:

    It is a contrived holiday just like Mother\’s Day, Father\’s Day, Bosses Day, Secretary Day, Grandparents Day, etc.  It is a marketing scheme and I read about the deal in Japan….  Cute idea that sounded very American.

  24. Barb says:

    I still like Japan\’s answer to a broken heart:)
    On all these holidays Iman and I simply share
    some tasty yogurt and cuddle up to a good movie

  25. Barb says:

    I am making the rounds with coffee in hand..
    so cheers Happy Tuesday.

  26. sweeti's says:

    Jorge..to be honest…
    i rather get a smile  than  hundred roses….
    and a warm kiss  every day   ..not one time a year overloaded  with attention..
    and u know  Valentine  is made  for secret loves…hmmmm
    cards   …flowers   …without sender..thats the history..
    bye now…and  its good to hear ur  fan of Justine….

  27. Kathryn says:

    Here\’s to memories *smiling*….t\’anks for stopping by …

  28. Deborah says:

    Just dropping by to say hi, and hope all is good there in CA
    Blessed be

  29. the1stephzen says:

    I find it very interesting that this year, almost all of my international students said…"Happy Valentine day" to everyone they saw…or at least that I saw them see.  :  ) They said it with such excitement.  I don\’t remember that being the case in years gone by.

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