Thursday, December 02, 2021

Many millions and millions of years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and men and women lived in caves (hence cavemen and cavewomen), life was different. Brave cavemen would go out to battle with beasts to bring home food and clothing for their woman. If they found a fruit or a flower they knew it was special and they knew the cavewoman would find favor in their eyes.

Fine coats of animal skins were brought home as tokens of love and devotion, high-heeled shoes were crafted from the finest marble and reptilian pelts. Well, one fine day, Val, a local caveman went out to perform his manly duties and he forgot to bring home his beautiful cavewoman, Entine, some fruit or flowers or even the Brontosaurus that she needed to made dinner for his family (of course). When Val stepped through the entrance to the cave, he knew he was in trouble. So much trouble, in fact, that his beautiful cavewoman did not set the alarm and he was quickly eaten by a velociraptor.

Yes, if only Val had remembered to get his wife what she asked for, the day would have ended differently. And that, boys and girls, was the beginning of Val-entine’s day (get it?). An apparently secular day that symbolizes what happens when you forget your spouse or significant other, something to show them how much you love them. Some say it is a Christian holiday started by a saint, but this, my dear children is the real story…or is it?

Millions of people celebrated Valentine’s Day last weekend; I don’t really know the history of this day or how it came to be. I’m assuming it had something to do with a husband who disappointed his wife, somehow (and the reasons are endless), and came home with flowers, candy, and possibly some cheesy 24-karat-gold atrocity from the neighborhood jeweler. He was then shot with an arrow by his enraged wife, was made a saint by the other husbands, who had also disappointed their wives but who totally forgot to bring something home and there you go, a more modern-day version of the holiday we “aren’t supposed to celebrate.”

Why is there no Jewish holiday when a man is required to give his wife a gift, even if that gift is a $5 box of chocolates from Target? The engagement ring is it? We get this expensive “token of their love” right up front and then it is all downhill? Can we save the expensive ring for another time? Especially when we realize that putting that money towards a home, car, or tuition is so much more efficient?

Husbands, and I am referring, of course, to husband #1, doesn’t need a day to bring me things in order to show me how he feels about me. He does that every day when he never brings me anything because, according to his mother, he is gift enough. Yup, there you have it. Jews do not celebrate Valentine’s Day because Jewish mothers are delusional and they have raised their boys to believe that they are the quintessential gift.

They are jewelry, Godiva chocolate, and a bouquet of sweet-smelling flowers all wrapped into one perfect package. Oh God. It has nothing to do with the saint, nothing to do with Christianity, but everything to do with the boy’s mother. I feel another mother-in-law article coming on, or that could just be a migraine. Though, to give credit where credit is due, one year, my boys convinced husband #1 to send me flowers and take me out to dinner. Little did he know our house was to become infested with the “Great Stomach Virus of 2011.” It was bad. I couldn’t move. As he looked down at me, his eyes filled with what I thought was love, he murmured softly, “If you didn’t want to go out to dinner with me, you could’ve just told me.” And then I had to get myself a Gatorade…good times.

According to a Valentine’s Day study, one in four people do not want their partners spending too much money on their gift. Now, I am not very good at math, but from this I am to assume that for every four people asked “What kind of gift do you want to symbolize your partner’s love for you?” one idiot says “Oh, I love my partner so much that they shouldn’t waste their money on me.” Someone should shoot that person with an arrow. We should celebrate our significant others or parents or siblings or friends every day, either with a phone call, some really good biscotti, or tickets to Billy Joel. Every day should have some sort of celebration in it, whether you really love the person, or you really want to strangle them. I have learned to live with the no-gift thing. I have also learned that if I want a gift, I love myself enough to go out and buy me one….where is a good velociraptor when you need one????

Banji Ganchrow is a self-proclaimed writer who thanks her grandmother for instilling a love of jewelry in her because jewelry always fits!

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