Don Draper: “‘She won’t get married because she’s never been in love.’ I think I wrote that to sell nylons.”
Girl: “For a lot of people love isn’t just a slogan.”
Don Draper: “When you mean love you mean a big lightning bolt to the heart, where you can’t eat and you can’t work, and you just run off and get married and make babies. The reason you haven’t felt it is because it doesn’t exist. What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.”
Girl: “Is that right?”
Don Draper: “Pretty sure about it. You’re born alone and you die alone and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts, but I never forget. I’m living like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t one.”
Well friends, Happy Thursday. Anything special about today? Let’s take a look. Oh wow! It’s the fourteenth of February and the month only has twenty-eight days. Half the month is over, where did the time go?!?!
This is what should be going through your head today but it most certainly isn’t. For some of us, this is a day has resulted in more planning and more secrecy than the Manhattan Project. Of course, as we have had drilled in our head since we were in our craft-iest stages in Elementary School, we all know that today, February 14, lives in infamy as VALENTINE’S DAY.
This may be the day of the year I feel for the non-single guys out there. According to google-handy data, total spending for the holiday is expected to top $18.2 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s an average of $136.57 per person. Per person on a casual Thursday. And it isn’t always on Thursday! Usually just once every seven years. This isn’t just a holiday for the affluent either. I mean this originates in like Kindergarten with those cool cards you can buy and then we get to adulthood. And the cards are the coolest things. Flowers? They die. Chocolate? I give you Halloween and any other day of the year. 136 bones isn’t as much to some as to others. I would be thrilled if I woke up on NYE and only spent 136. It’s not the amount, but for Flowers and Chocolate? C’mon.
In the day in age where one’s peak objective is to ‘stay woke,’ perhaps it is time that everyone realizes that the candy, restaurant, and floral industry invented Valentine’s Day and hired Sterling Cooper and Don Draper to market it. Change the nylons to an ad for Hersey chocolates (which would have been better to Don’s eventual pitch to Hershey execs later in the series. Shouts to those Mad Men fans out there) and this could easily be Don Draper selling this pretty lady on the origin of Valentine’s Day.
How did we get here? Take away these customs and what society tells you that you are supposed to do and if I told you that you were required to spend a certain amount of money on a random date each year, you would call that radical. If I told you this was a Chinese or Russian custom only, you would get dudes saying that this was “communist and dumb.
One can say that Valentine’s Day is the greatest flexing contest known to man. Who is getting engaged? Who gets their flowers delivered to the office vs. at home? Where are you going to dinner? It’s just a stressful experience altogether. As a guy, depending on where your girl works, the start of February is probably going to be the worst two weeks of your entire year. We all have those friends that make more that you know are doing it bigger than you, and you know that your significant other is going to be upset if you go to a restaurant with lesser Michelin stars than her friends friend. There are those that will say that “we’re the laid back couple” and “we’re so chill, we don’t need to go out to dinner that night, we’ll do something another.” And to this guy, whose girlfriend is trying to act like she’s gives less fucks than Jeff Spickolo from Ridgemont High, I DOUBLE QUADRUPLE DOG DARE YOU TO PITCH THIS IDEA TO HER:
That’s right. In our consumerist culture, there are some good things that emerge from our habits and useless holidays. God Bless, Papa Johns.
Comparing Valentine’s Day to a Few Other Holidays
You may be thinking, “if by this logic, based on the high cost and dumb excuses with Candy, do you hate every holiday like Halloween?” Well, you do have me pegged as being a negative fun sponge but in my view, Halloween is much better than Valentine’s Day. While I could argue the Don Draper industry related argument in regards to the Candy and Costume Industries, there are some ways Halloween wins. I could post a screenshot of a Fraternity College Kids Insta feed below with all of the ‘influencers’ he follows, but I’ll take a different route. One thing I like about Halloween is the creativity it sparks. The best costume can’t be bought. In fact, usually the most expensive costumes are lame. You have to get creative, find some obscure and nostalgic movie references to really get the people going. There may be the element of surprise in Valentine’s Day that can spice up the night. Maybe some rose pedals leading to a bottle of Wine, but if the win chosen is Boone’s Farm or you half ass the flower delivery to your significant other at the office, the odds of your night ending well are shifting drastically against you.
In many ways, Thanksgiving is the anti-Valentine’s Day. You’re forced to spend it with people you don’t like instead of those you do. When you’ve been dating a while, you then have to make a big-milestone-esque decision on whether you should or shouldn’t bring your new partner along. This is a major reflection point that can lead you to question and decide how serious you are with your significant other. You also see your partner at their most bloated and get to hear their embarrassing stories. If anything, you could argue that this is a realistic test that can better indicate relationship success more than how virtuous the bouquet of flowers are on a random day in February.
New Years Eve
This may be the most similar in that it became a cultural, FOMO-inducing custom just because of the day that the calendar randomly falls on. At least with New Years Eve though, there is a chance to start anew, there’s a sense of optimism in the air. Less tension and less planning. Just get me to the bar before 11:30, no need to make reservations weeks and months in advance.
The Worst? I think yes
In the end, I think you can conclude that Valentine’s Day is the worst Holiday. It requires the most planning and has the least upside. You can’t come out of it positive, only neutral. High Risk, Low Reward. Stay in, get the pizza on Thursday, and take her out for a nice dinner Feb 16. The pizza can be a test to see how chill and rational your partner is now.
(DISCLAIMER: AUTHOR TITLE WILL BE SPENDING VALENTINE’S DAY ALONE, TAKE ANY RELATIONSHIP ADVICE OR ADVICE ON HOW TO SPEND THE ROMATIC ‘HOLIDAY’ AT YOUR OWN RISK)