Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

I told myself I would write a timely entry for once. I always think of all these post-holiday entries and forget to put them up and before you know it, it's an Xmas post in March!

Valentine's Day is such a polarizing holiday. Some people love it. Even more hate it. I suspect it's the idea of forced affection. It seems disingenuous that there would be a day where masses of people are guilt-tripped into buying terrible candy, tacky stuffed animals and gaudy cards in order to demonstrate their love. It's simplification of how we want to be loved. Valentine's Day is fast food when love is slow-cooked.

My friends would never describe me as a "romantic," which is why maybe a couple of years ago, this entry would be a hilarious rant about the homogenization of love. I still bristle at the idea of rom-com "meet cutes," because let's face it, we're not going to come across a handsome/beautiful stranger in Central Park who needs our help in some complex scheme which results in a cheesy wedding dance montage. The way we experience love is specific and complex, almost impossible to replicate, despite many self-help gurus who promise to generate love only if you follow their rules.

This kind of gets to why I feel ambivalent about Valentine's Day. I like the idea of celebrating love. I hate the idea of comparing love, as if a singing telegram doesn't appear at your work, it means that you are loved less than your neighbor in the cube with two dozen roses. This causes everyone to eventually cave in and celebrate, no matter how they feel about the so-called holiday. No one wants their significant other to look like he or she is dating a jerk. Fast food in a pressure cooker, sounds good, doesn't it?

How do we avoid feeling like suckers for celebrating, but feeling like jerks if we don't? I don't have any easy solutions and I don't think anyone else does. That's why we all get so mad when this day comes around. (Well, those of us who are not marking jewelry catalogs.) This year, I'm just going to focus on the simple---that I'm thankful love is in my life.

And whether you hate it or love it, who doesn't love 50% off candy hearts the day after Vday. Happy February 15th everyone.


  1. Minh wrote to danny bloom re French loan words
    "yea i'm Viet and i learned about this too. we borrowed a lot of loan words from the French too.

    Pe-dan for Pedal. Sa-boong for soap. Ga for gas. Bu-keh for bouquet... oh and many more..."

    he says he will tell me more later... have YOU heard those before...? danny asks

    email if ever want to at danbloom AT gmail DOT com

  2. and....Minh sends me more loan words used in Vietnam today AND an added bonus, of a woman's blog that lists 100s of such loan words:

    he tells me:

    omg u know what? while thinking about these loan words, i googled for some more of them and i found this Vietnamese girl's blog. She said she'd been studying French for a while and she wrote down a list of the Vietnamese loan words from French. I'm not sure it's ok if i copy and paste here so I'll just give you that link.

    hat off to this girl...!!