Is it purely feminine to believe in Valentine’s Day?

There are countless arguments against it, against the inevitable box of ribbon-tied chocolates, the clichd marriage proposals visible on the big screen during some sports game and the obligatory declaration of sentiment that the holiday entails. So maybe we should be grateful for our romances while they’re happening instead of waiting for one nationally-selected day. Maybe we should rethink our Hallmark-induced traditions very carefully and wonder what capitalistic card-buying scheme they had in mind. Or whatever.

But does that mean it should be completely invalidated?

I heard recently (through the frat vine) that there is a newly emerging holiday, one on March 14 led by a man named Tom Birdsey, a sort of mini-hero for those promoting his new concept: the Valentine’s Day for men. Filled with such gifts as meaty steaks, some of the more? intimate pleasures, and celebrated for its notable lack of freshly cut flowers, it reverses what was previously conceived as romance.

So what is romance? Is romance the begrudging turning over of a pack of truffles or is it the simple comfort of a nice meal and? intimately personal company? The division between these two holidays implies that there are marked differences in what women and men consider ideal – that women are more interested in heart-shaped treats, men with T-shaped meats. There is some obvious and undeniable level of division here, that the ladies want some pre-concocted form of induced flattery and the men want the caveman essentials of life: food good, women good.

I’m sure if you asked any single guy what he truly, deeply wanted for Valentine’s Day, it would be more along the lines of a strong beer, slab meat for dinner and sexual gratification for dessert. Maybe it is cynical to assume that every male wants the more base pleasures in life, but can you really blame him? At the end of the day, most people would prefer a foot rub to a singing greeting card, a nice home-cooked meal to an elaborately expensive date. Maybe we should take a cue from the guys and eliminate the sickeningly sweet frivolity of Valentine’s, opting instead to satisfy our more animalistic appetites.

Despite the proposal that March 14 become the “anti-Valentine’s,” or at least the male equivalent, this oppositional pattern has been slowly changing. American Greetings’s Web site proposes that, while women still command a hefty 85 percent of the Valentine’s card purchases each year, men have been buying their stationary in increasing numbers, indicating “the increasing social acceptance of men expressing their feelings.”

Sure. Maybe they’re coming to terms with their emotional sides.

Or maybe the inside of that ever-so-thoughtful card reads, “Gimme nookie.”



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