February 12, 2007

’tis the season of worried men, demanding women, and soul-destroying loneliness. The card shops are stock full of Valentine’s cards, which makes it difficult to track down just a simple birthday card. It is amusing, however, to watch guys uncertain of what card to buy. Don’t want to be too affectionate (else she’ll think she’s getting a shiny ring soon). Don’t want to be too off-handish (else you’ll spend the evening playing “salvage”). Don’t want to be too soppy (it’s difficult enough lookng the shop assistant in the eye; you know she’s judging your purchase).

In fairness, the girls have the same decisions to make. But it’s the guys who are out of their depth. They eventually choose a card inoffensive enough to their senses, sheepishly take it up to the counter, pay for it, then immediately hide it in a pocket or other shopping for fear of friends/workmates seeing their purchase. Look around. Nobody saw. It’s the big secret. I wonder how many awkward conversations have taken place between colleagues while shopping for a Valentine’s card.

In the season that eschews originality in favour of automaton-like devotions of love, it’s astounding that we all play along. No self-respecting girl owns up to really enjoying Valentines day — I think it’s just that once they’ve thought about receiving presents, anything else would be disappointing. And a disappointed female is the temporary bane of any man’s life.


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