February 14th is for suckers

Valentine’s Day, February 14th is the day when we as men are encouraged to buy the ladies in our life diamonds, or other expensive gifts as a way to demonstrate just how much we love them. Really? Will your wife or girlfriend leave you if she doesn’t receive a shiny present? Will you feel less of a man if you don’t spend a lot of money on something that may be worn three times a year?

The diamond industry look upon Valentine’s Day as their big selling day. Christmas is good but mid-February is when the hard sell really begins. We are told through countless commercials and advertisements that what she really wants is a “insert catchy nickname” diamond. I am sorry but when I hear the phrase Hearts on Fire I tend to think of heart burn rather than diamonds.

I am sure that if I lived in the imaginary world that advertising executives seem to believe I do, I surely would be spending a large amount of money on my wife to show not only how much I love her, but how much I want her to be happy and the only way I can do so is by giving her something expensive. This imaginary world would obviously provide me with a remarkably large salary and the opportunity to not only shop for a diamond but to pick out just the right one for the love of my life.

Men and women shop differently. Women like to take their time, shop around, compare prices, get advice from friends, and then go back to the first store they looked in and buy the original item they looked at. Men, on the other hand, will attempt to get in and out of the first store they see as quickly as possible. Perhaps this isn’t the same in the imaginary world. I wouldn’t know, I tend to live in the real world most of the time.

In the real world, husbands shouldn’t waste hard earned cash on earrings or necklaces that sparkle, instead looking for those gifts that the wife will really appreciate. Imagine your wife’s delight when, on the morning of the 14th of February, she opens a card that states that her husband will finish that home improvement project that has lived in the basement for three months. For men who want to go that little bit further, there could be the feared, by men anyway, “I’ll spend the evening watching a movie with you, no matter what movie you choose”. I suppose for men who have been married for more than a couple of years the card would say “Please honey, tonight would make it twice this year”.

I am certainly not suggesting that if you have the means and desire that you don’t buy diamonds for your significant other if that is really what she wants. We all have to do what we can to keep our loved ones happy, but if you are just an average joe, you should perhaps adjust your aim to what is realistic, not what the advertising would have you believe.

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