I Hate Hate Hate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is stupid. Stupid stupid stupid! Never mind the fact that it’s a grossly commercialized holiday concocted by greeting card makers, teddy bear stuffers, and flower pickers to empty the pockets of ill-suited couples who are trying desperately to prolong their doomed courtships. It’s stupid because it celebrates materialism. It forces us to believe that love, happiness, and even sex can be bought with red roses, chocolate hearts, and pricey jewelries.

Let’s face it, it’s not about love or romance. At least not anymore. Valentine’s Day has evolved into “come home from work with something in your hands, otherwise receive the silent treatment, the indirect glorification of Jane’s husband, wonderful Steve, or the all-night bombardment of how sweet you used to be.” Quite frankly, I am tired of all that rubbish. I am tired of Valentine’s Day. So cupid, up yours. Go poke somebody else.

Update: Apparently she disagrees:

…Nhưng đây là ngày mà chúng ta có thể biểu hiện tấm lòng của mình đặc biệt hơn mọi ngày, chiều chuộng người ấy để người ấy cảm thấy hạnh phúc hơn. Những việc làm như tặng một đóa hoa, một thẻ kẹo, hay gởi một lời nhắn…những việc đó rất nhỏ bé nhưng chúng có thể nói lên một tâm tình rất nòng nàn, một sự quan tâm đặc biệt…rằng em thật may mắn khi có anh bên cạnh…

Why is it that you can hate Christmas, you can hate Thanksgiving, but damn you if you hate Valentine’s Day! C’est la vie!

My Second Black Friday Experience

Two years ago, I plunged into the Black Friday stampede for the first time at Wal-Mart for an HP laptop. To my surprise, it was quite a languorous night as shoppers civilly lined up at the respective registers for the 5 am chime. Two years later, different Wal-mart, different prize, and a totally different experience.

1:00 am – Returned home from parents’ house with belly stuffed (5 glasses of wine and still no buzz, what the hell is wrong with me?)

2:00 am – After much debate, the girls resolved to march onto Wal-mart to brave the Battle of Black Friday. I decided to stay home and get rested

3:15 am – Received the call for backup. Learned that there are no lines, no formations, no orders, just barbaric rumble with wide-mouthed, thick-thighed, big-bottomed gorillas.

3:30 am – Sacrificed my slumber to rescue the damsels in distress. How was I to sleep knowing that my girl is being heckled?

4:00 – 4:50 am – Surrounded by the multitude, all prying the coveted prize in the middle of the aisle. “The first one is mine,” claimed one woman. “I’ll take the second,” shouted a man. “I got the third one,” I rebutted. Other exchanges were heard, “Don’t you take the 4th,” “I’ve been here since 12,” “You better put your hands on it.” The first woman proceeded to write our names on each box to prematurely seize the items.

4:55 am – “I think you’ve waited long enough,” the manager declared over the PA. While others rushed, I took my time since I already had my name and my hands on the box. I even took the initiative to help an elderly man with his before securing mine.

5:00 am – “862.31, credit or debit?” And I was out the door. The final tally? A 42″ HDTV, 2 Sony Cybershots, a sewing machine, and various household appliances.

7:15 am – Fast asleep, with the REAL prize in my arms.

Sorry Thanksgiving!

I bet if Thanksgiving could talk, it would say, “damn it Christmas, get away from me and stop stealing my thunder.” And for valid reasons!

It seems that Thanksgiving never gets the proper respect it deserves. OK, maybe it doesn’t deserve that much respect. After all it’s simply an aloof historical juncture that we magnify and commercialize to glut ourselves to torpid somnolence without feelings of condemnatory guilt.

But hey, you gotta feel bad for the girl (yes, Thanksgiving is a female, how many men do you know who give and say thanks)! Over her lifetime, she never receives a red carpet welcome, whereas Christmas’ prep is all about the reds and greens. The turkeys haven’t even groaned their last gobbles, yet jolly old men are already ho-ho-ing their ways around retail stores. Heck, some people don’t even call it Thanksgiving but pseudonym it “Turkey Day.” Yes, Turkey Day. You don’t hear people going around wishing each other “Happy Santa Day” or “Merry Claus Day,” do you?

So here’s to Thanksgiving. I support your Claus, oops, cause! May you get the recognition you seek. May the David in you overpower the Goliath-ly Christmas. And may your pinky find its righteous placement in the family of Christmas toes.

Spousal Communication

It has been suggested that “a woman’s heart is deeper than the ocean.” This alludes to the impenetrable enigma of the human emotion, an enigma that harbors secrets, that constrains thoughts, that enthralls reminisces of yesterday’s past, a past so complex that only oneself can fully grasp the hurtful consequences of its disclosure.

Within the depth of that ocean lies, perhaps, an insatiable yearn for a lost love, an uncorrectable mistake not worth repeating; or perhaps therein contains deeds left undone, words left unsaid, love left unloved; or even more, perhaps it is shamefulness, in actions and in thoughts, that colors that ocean blue.

Nonetheless, woe to him whose life partner denies the very key to her heart. Wicked is she who withholds her very soul from the man she calls soulmate. And foul are you who bed in the present but sleep in the past.

The above thought stems from an event at the clinic today. As I proceeded to assess an elderly gentleman for pain management, his wife quickly shifted the conversation towards her, saying with a pleasant smile, “he is hard of hearing.” Upon querying her, I became amazed at the extensive knowledge she had about her husband, from the location, duration, and description of his pain to his thoughts, hopes, and fears. She was even able to recount his dreams, how often, how long, how severe. It’s refreshing to see love as it’s meant to be, built on trust and complete openness. He can confide in her his every thought and she in him. I only hope that I should be so lucky.