Con: No special day needed to express love

Feb. 11, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.
Updated Feb. 10, 2013 at 8:11 p.m.

For Hollie Wilmarth-Morris and her husband of 16 years, Brian Morris, 40, a "Hallmark holiday" isn't needed to express love.

"We don't need a specific day to let one another know our feelings," Wilmarth-Morris, a 39-year-old dental hygienist living in Mission Valley, wrote in a Facebook post. "We express it daily.

"I'd rather have quality memories and daily reminders of what we feel - like a simple hug or smile or touch - then flowers and candy one day a year."

But for many, Feb. 14 is a "must-buy" day - either a card, candy, flowers, gifts or a combination of all of them.

But don't blame Hallmark, the greeting card company says.

"As a business, we wish it were so easy that we could dream up products and people would flock to our stores to buy them," said a statement on Hallmark's website.

"But we have to respond to what people want - not the other way around. There first has to be a real consumer need that we meet with our products."

Historian and novelist Noah Charney agrees.

"While greeting card companies have certainly made a meal of the Valentine's Day tradition, it is not their invention," Charney wrote for Electrum Magazine.

"People have been sending 'valentines' for centuries, and the man responsible for associating the name day of Saint Valentine with romantic love is none other than the renowned medieval English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer."

Chaucer authored a poem in 1382 titled "Parliament of Fowles," about the day birds choose their mates.

"The popularity of Chaucer's poem, which likely stems from a pre-existing general belief ... that February 14 is the day when birds choose their mates, is what truly cemented the idea that Valentine's Day is a celebration of romantic love," Charney wrote.

Victoria psychologist Lane Johnson said, "Sometimes we let a date on the calendar dictate our emotions and moods when it's just a date on the calendar."

If someone feels pressure to buy flowers, candy, a card or a gift for Valentine's Day, he said, then, "it could be the indicator of a bigger problem.

"You need to ask yourself, why do I feel pressured?" he said. "What do I really feel for this person?"

PRO: Day is perfect time to acknowledge love



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