Dear Crabby, What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Dear Crabby,

My wife just flipped over the calendar to February and I immediately noticed the 14th square has a big red heart around it. Guess that’s her not-so-subtle way of reminding me that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. I feel like this day has gotten out of hand and men are pressured into making grand (and expensive) overtures of their faithfulness and undying love. What are your thoughts on this holiday?

Thanks, Lawrence Lovelorn

Dear Lawrence Lovelorn,

All this hype around Valentine’s Day cracks me up! I mean people do realize that St. Valentine’s Day has its roots in religion and is named after at least three martyrs, right? It had absolutely nothing to with hearts and chocolates until about the 18th century.

DearCrabbyBack in my day, my dad would bring home one of those big, heart-shaped Whitman chocolate boxes, which the whole family shared. That’s right. No individual treats. One box. Period. And Valentine’s Day cards? Yup, you guessed it: we made them out of good old construction paper. They were lopsided and contained half a box of macaroni (or glitter in my sisters’ case), but we handed them to our mom with pride and she treated them as if they were made of silk and jewels. Apparently, the days of DIY have evolved thanks to something called Pinterest and moms are knocking themselves out trying to create clever cards and cutesy gift bags for their kids to handout at school. What happened to just buying a box of 50 with Batman on them?

And the hard sell starts young. The Mrs. and I were watching one of our grandsons recently and he asked if we could take him to the mall so he could use his allowance money to buy his girlfriend a Valentine’s Day present. Have I mentioned that he’s eight? He patiently explained to us that if he didn’t get her the right gift (read: what she told him to buy) that she would break up with him and become Johnny’s girlfriend. So you’re not going crazy when you say you feel pressured to go all out. The average misguided soul spends up to $131 per person and I’m guessing that figure is on the low side since advertisers spend millions of dollars guilting you into buying the right perfume, jewelry, flowers, and ahem, delicates. Obviously if you don’t, why would your significant other love you anymore? What a load of poppycock!

Here’s my advice: if you’d like to buy something special for or do something special with your wife, by all means go ahead. What you shouldn’t do is break the bank showing her how much you love her. At the risk of sounding mushy, your wife should know how much you love her by how you treat her every day, but just to be on the safe side, get her one of those Whitman chocolate hearts; or if you’re feeling fancy, Godiva. Here’s to hoping Cupid’s arrow hits it mark.

Dear Crabby

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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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