February 14, 2012

Occupy Valentine's Day

Money not required

You may think that there is an Occupy for everything that is outrageously unfair, unsustainable, and unjust. There is. Including Occupy Valentine's Day.

Thank goodness, because if there were ever an outdated, blatantly consumeristic cultural relic that deserves to be extinguished once and for all, Valentine's Day is it.

Don't get me wrong, I am totally into love. Totally. I am just not into commercial interests co-opting it, and bullying everyone into spending cash in a gift-buying frenzy to 'prove' their love one day a year.

The National Retail Federation did a survey to see to what degree Americans would be  getting sucked in by all the (fake) love hype this year. "Love may not cost a thing", the survey starts out, "but consumers this year are set to spoil their friends, family and loved ones this Valentine’s Day in a very big way."

Well, at least they got the 'love doesn't cost a thing' bit right, but they are obviously hoping that consumers forget this basic fact of life.

The survey predicted that spending on Valentine's Day goodies would top $17.6 billion in today's guilt-reducing, economy-pumping, profit-generating spending spree. But wait. Let's show some commercial love for our non-human loved ones too.

"Valentine’s Day is a great day for pet owners to show their furry friends just how much they mean," the NRF's survey reminds us. But nothing will let your furry friend know you care more than consistently providing food, and a clean litter box or back yard.

Retailers want us to believe that buying something is the best way for people to "show their appreciation for each other". That is so tragically wrong.

The best way to show our appreciation is to be loving, kind, and patient. All the time. 365 days a year. You can't buy love. When we are loving, we freely receive the love we need.

I am Occupying Valentines Day. No flowers, chocolates, jewelry, or expensive night out. Our love is unconditional, and there is no need to buy anything.

Have a loving day, and year.

We love you.

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