The Art Site

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sweet Deals for your Valentine

The papers are full of it. You can't read the press without finding some pink - bordered Valentine's Day catch - phrase splattered with red hearts and cheap deals. "HALF PRICE" says The Warehouse, trying to make some easy money. Give your loved one a sterling silver heart and key bracelet, only $24.99. Or what about a double deal, and SAVE $4.98: for $24.99, 12 red roses + a box of Roses chocolates for $9.99 : practically given away at $30.
Then again, your darling might want lingerie. Well, the Warehouse is being incredibly kind and generous: buy two or more pairs and SAVE 20%.

"For your Valentine" says Woolworths and Countdown, dropping out of their customary plain, no frills ads and down to earth sales. This ad is decorated with bouquets that would make the florists furious, and prices that would finish them and their businesses off. Of course there are specials on the wine: they offer Lindauer Rose for $8.99. To finish off the mushy sentimentality, they advertise Hershey's Kisses in a heart - shaped tin, chocolate roses and the necessary "Be My Valentine" cards.

It is not only the shops that are fevered with this infectious disease. Facebook has caught some of the dreaded lurgy too: On everyone's facebook page is a little button that you can press to give the person a Valentine's Day gift. Worse, the person will only recieve the "wrapped" present and message at midnight on Valentine's Day. There are also all manner of Valentine superpokes available. The only ones that tempted me were the "boycott Valentine's Day" ones.
It seems that there is some method behind all this madness, and a bit of history too. Geoffry Chaucer is apparently the first person to mention this special day, and he does it with his classic wit:
This, from Chaucer's Parlement of Foules, composed around 1380, which takes place "on Seynt Valentynes day,/Whan every foul cometh there to chese [choose] his make [mate]."

What is amusing is that Chaucer refers to these people as "foul" - this may be an old English way of saying 'fool' but then again, it's bad either way.
According to an old embellished tale, the curse of the Valentine started in the 3rd Century after Christ. Claudius II was the Pope of the day and with a problem on his hands. His soldiers were pathetic wimps who got married and wanted to stay with their wives. Claudius sternly decreed that the soldiers should never marry, but meanwhile, St. Valentine (a local priest) was achieving his evil plans. Feeling sympathy with the romantic passions of youth, he was secretly marrying the young soldiers and their lasses. Little did he know the danger involved in going against the Pope (although he should have, the Pope being the top dog).
Before he knew it, he didn't know it. The Pope's soldiers came into his little shack and slew him where he knelt. Of course the man was made a martyr.

Although many believe this little story of fluff and love hearts, it is most likely not true at all, but a common myth.

To sum up: the commercialised Valentine's Day is little more than cheap ads for chocolate and flowers with tacky love hearts, getting men into a guilt trip which induces them to spend more money than they should (they have perhaps been reading the Valentine's Day ads rather than the global economic crisis articles) and advertising for "single's nights" at malls.
Single's nights? Bleugh. But I'm sure there is some hope out there. My parents, for example, went out for a coffee today and had large steaming cups of coffee and tall pieces of passionfruit cheescake, decorated with rasberries and chocolate hearts. Dad brought home six brilliantly red roses which are now arranged in a glass vase on the table. Mum is in the garden at the moment finding the last of the strawberries for tomorrow's Valentine's breakfast.

In spite of myself, I find it quite sweet. But enough of this mushy sentimentalism! It's about time for Snip part 11, and I won't find any love hearts and Valentines in there, I hope.


Blogger Nath moore said...

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

hahaha...yeah thats right I'm just trying to make you annoyed... hearts and all... :)

anyway top facts there lass, totally relevant to Valintines...and while me myself and I am going along with myself in agreement that I should take up buying in particular boxes of chocs for my superpoke friends on facebook, I wouldn't agree with spending lots and lots of money on people for Valentine's Day. Roses chocolates excluded, that is. :)

9:13 pm  
Blogger Andy Moore said...

I lol'd

11:09 pm  
Blogger Em said...

tut tut tut... you seem very fed up with the whole valentines thing!!

I think what you need is a nice man to sweep you off your feet and take your mind of such annoyances as commercialism and soppy social customs.. :)

maybe we should go ice skating more often :P

4:51 pm  
Blogger Theresa said...

You know, I don't care if the whole St Valentine thing was a myth. I like Valentines day, I think it is a nice excuse for couples to be extra nice to each other in whatever way they choose.
Sure, it is a bit comercialized, but hey so is easter and christmas and we don't say no to chocolate eggs.
I do however reckon that a "happy valentines!" note from a friend [a girl and straight] is annoying and lame. It's not christmas, I'm single so Vday means nothing to me, go away!

10:26 pm  

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