I stood silent on Valentine’s day because I hate to be anyone’s buzz kill. But now that the day is over, here comes the catharsis:
I’d like to think I’m not the bah humbug type–I love Christmas, Chanukah, Chinese New Year, Passover, Thanksgiving and birthdays; but that’s where I draw the line. Halloween, New Years Eve, Valentine’s Day–in my opinion, are all for amateurs. Sure, I will don a costume on Halloween for friend’s party but if you think I’m going anywhere near a parade or club you’ve clearly mistaken me for someone with a death wish. Avoiding Times Square on NYE for fear of a bombing might sound very Woody Allen but I think it’s just good common sense. God forbid something should happen, but if it does, Woody and I will be shaking our heads over a pastrami sandwich murmuring the dreaded “we told you so.”
Which brings me to Valentine’s Day–a jewelry designer’s dream right? Not so much. I have no idea what turned me off of Valentine’s Day. Jewelry Tyrant Father used to give me jewelry every year on the day and I loved it! Now that I’m in the jewelry industry myself I think people are terrified to gift me jewelry–but that’s a whole other issue and has nothing to do with why I dislike the holiday. I think my distaste comes from it being a day of forced affection and gifting. As a result, every store has pink and red paper hearts in the window and we are bombarded with clichéd advertisement after lame advertisement. All the amateurs go out in full force hawking cheap jewelry, generic roses, boxers with hearts on them and every other kitschy thing you can possibly associate with love. Restaurants all have set menus that fall short of their normal fare and one can hardly ever get a decent meal on the day. Not to mention the fact that if you’ve been one 2 dates with someone, one of you is expecting to spend Valentine’s Day together and the other thinks it’s too soon and then it’s just awkward tidings from that point forward. Valentine’s Day is Kmart’s dream and my nightmare.
This is the part where I contradict myself: I love the fact that Jewelry Tyrant Father still gives Tiger Bobby jewelry for Valentine’s day. He spent months sourcing the perfect stones, designing the ring and having our artisans perfect it. That is how to give a Valentine’s Day gift–it’s never an after thought with him. Unfortunately, Tiger Bobby left dinner reservations until last-minute and so they ended up ordering take out at home but that is so typical of my dysfunctional parents and super charming in its own way.
As for me, last year I came home on January 14th and found a gorgeous bouquet of flowers waiting for me with a note saying, “Happy Valentine’s Day” from my Immigrant Husband. He had gotten the dates confused–I guess they don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in Italy. As a result, I had a perfectly lovely surprise in the middle of January. This year, IH gave me my V-day pressie 4 days early because he couldn’t wait until the day and told me that I was getting flowers on the 15th because he came to pick me up at the airport straight from work. Again, super cute and I could care less if I get a necklace on the actual day or a few days earlier. Last week, I got a package in the mail from Bestie with 3 rings spelling out “JZP” and a note, “Happy Whatever Day.” Awesome, I felt super loved. Then it dawned on me–I don’t like enforced celebrations of love and affection because people do things out of obligation. A random expression of love is a joy and means so much to the giver and the receiver; whereas nothing feels more contrived and generic to me than the masses going through the synchronized expressions of love on Valentines Day. However, the one thing I absolutely adore seeing is women buying things (specifically jewelry) for themselves on Valentine’s Day. That is hardly ever contrived or generic. It says to me that she doesn’t care whether she is single or not–she loves herself. Let other people slather you with random acts of love the other days of the year, on Valentine’s Day love yourself.
Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,