The Valentine Business

[WARNING: Written for the open-minded and lover of the truth.]

February 14. That day in a year where the masculine energy is pressured to showcase a grand gesture of love in the form of flowers, chocolates, stuff toy, jewelry and any other romanticized consumerism.

While the feminine energy is expected to be spoiled, surprised, made to feel special by wining and dining. All this, boxing out the single people into some "loser" category because they have no one to share some TLC with on this specific occasion.

In my naive younger years, I never had issues every Valentines as I've always gotten attention from the male department. I remember always carrying a big bouquet of roses as I walk in the university hallway. I even specifically told my then-boyfriend to give it to me on campus so that I can parade it around... strutting in my pretty "girly" outfit and sleek make up, with that look on my face screaming, "LOOK AT THESE FLOWERS! I RECEIVED VALIDATION, BITCHES!!!"

In short, I got flowers... meaning I'm desirable enough... which shows I have worth... therefore, I'm validated. GOOD ON ME! (or so I thought!)

As I write this blog and remember those days, I can't help but cringe now that I've learned how the society totally manipulates and makes a huge business out of human innocence, emotions and insecurities.

The truth will always remain that deep down inside, we all want to love and be loved romantically. Women especially, (or the women at heart!) want to feel desired and special. I know because I feel that way too.

So spa companies, Cadbury and Precious Petals thought of a brilliant idea by appealing to that emotion by generating this nagging demand to keep up with all the romantic hype.

"Buy or receive our products to show/feel love so you don't end up in LOSER LAND on February 14 while we generate millions of dollars... WIN WIN situation!"

Or is it really?

I had my eureka moment when I lived in Spain for 4 years where Valentines is null and void. I reminisce asking my adult Spanish students what their plans are during my first year of spending the so-called Heart's Day there and they said, "It's an American holiday. Business idea. The only date for love that couples celebrate in Spain is anniversary. So no plans today because it's just like any other day."

Along with that, I worked as a concierge in various hotels in Southern California where we are trained to entice guests to order flowers, book for a romantic cruise or a couple's massage, push the lover's package which includes a warm petal-infused bath, fruit platter, flowers, 2 glasses of cava and sweet nibbles... all costing really cheap but us having to charge 10x as much so the companies involved get so ridiculously rich.

We subtly mind-fuck couples into buying this illusion of romance that we create out of low-grade resources and package it as a luxurious romantic gesture. In return, companies make TONS of money, we get a bit of commission and the couples get totally ripped off.

Hence, I will never ever see Valentines the same way again. If I receive something on this day, whether I'm single or taken, great! It's still very much appreciated. I'd be lying if I say I don't like it.

But if I don't, that's fine too. It doesn't make me feel unattractive, undesirable, unvalidated, unworthy and all the other un-uns in the English vocabulary anymore like I did when I was young and vulnerable.

Because the truth to the core is... love, flowers, hugs, gifts, dinners, surprises and I LOVE YOUs, if truly genuine, can be shared at any time of the year. Not only when FlowerBoy Project wants you to. They just set this date to poke at society's insecurity of being alone and to guilt trip emotional retards to stop being selfish for once and give back to their other half for bearing with their crap all this time.

And honestly, I prefer to receive a random gesture of love from someone that doesn't need a damn reminder from Hallmark that I deserve it. I'd rather get practical love such as genuine compatibility, quality time, undivided attention, acts of service, intellectual conversations, exchange of ideas, mutual mentoring, emotional availability and loyalty than all those consumer-driven notion of romance. That way, you know it's authentic and sincere. Not because it's society obliged or pressure induced from someone else's social media post.

If you're reading this and you're a Valentines advocate and/or you have a business that generates income from this occasion, good for you! I'm frankly glad that you get that kick from the consumeristic approach to love that you deserve this day. And/Or I'm happy for your bank account! Happy Heart's Day to you!

But if you're like me who can see right through the business behind it all, congratulations! The truth has set you free. Now, carry on and keep loving YOU. If you're taken, let your significant other love you the way you want to be loved, WHEN you want to be loved.

If you're single, love YOU anyway and maximize the freedom that you have by living the life you always wanted. You ain't a loser just because you didn't get chocolates this year. It just means you're not at the beck-and-call of Rocher Ferrero's marketing director. And that's something to be damn proud of.

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