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Commentary: Don't be my Valentine

  • Story Highlights
  • Roland Martin: Valentine's Day is good for retailers but it's a bad idea overall
  • He says overpriced flowers and dinner at a fancy restaurant don't cut it
  • Martin: Show your love for your mate all 365 days a year
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By Roland Martin
CNN Contributor
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Editor's note: A nationally syndicated columnist, Roland S. Martin is the author of "Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith" and "Speak, Brother! A Black Man's View of America." Visit his Web site for more information.

Roland S. Martin says he doesn't buy all the hype associated with Valentine's Day.

Roland S. Martin says he doesn't buy all the hype associated with Valentine's Day.

(CNN) -- With retailers hurting and the U.S. president trying to encourage Americans to spend money to restore consumer confidence, what I'm about to say may seem like treason. But here goes: Please boycott Valentine's Day and all that is associated with this horrendous "holiday."

For several years I have ripped into Valentine's Day. Not because I'm against love and relationships, but mainly because the holiday is such a farce.

First of all, Valentine's Day is not built around a religious event like Christmas or Easter; nor does it have any special meaning to the nation such as Memorial Day or Veterans Day.

It is nothing more than a commercial holiday created by rabid retailers who needed a major shopping day between Christmas and Easter in order to give people a reason to spend money.

Now folks, I love my wife. She is truly an awesome woman who is smart, talented, fine, and, did I say fine? But do I really need a special day to show my affection for her?

I've long maintained that if I sent my flowers at other times during the year, why do I have to fall victim to peer pressure and send her some roses that have quadrupled in price leading up to February 14?

Why should I be inundated with mailings, e-mails and commercials to show her that I love her by buying jewelry or clothing? If we went shopping in June or September or last month, can I get some kind of waiver or "Get out of Valentine's Day" card?

As for this silly flower thing, it's even got to the point that any flowers can't do. Some years ago I planned on sending a woman some flowers that weren't roses, and the (female) co-workers were aghast. They felt that nothing mattered except roses.

First of all, I didn't have a lot of dough and felt a nice bouquet was sufficient, but they were appalled. So I told them to go to hell and I'll do what I want. I guess for them, the thought really doesn't matter.

Then there are the women on the job who measure the love of their men based on those flowers. You know how some folks are. If there are flowers on the desk of 10 other women, and one woman doesn't have anything, folks get to talking and whispering as if something is wrong in her relationship.

I've learned that even if you get the biggest-ever rose bouquet -- the relationship might be crumbling and you just refuse to admit it.

And Valentine's Day really isn't even a two-way street. Men are utterly irrelevant except to serve as pawns in this commercial game, emptying their wallets in order to satisfy their lovers or those around them. Oh yea, retailers know the con game.

Most of these guys are hapless saps who have ignored their wives or girlfriends all year, so they buy the flowers and candy, and set a reservation at one of the city's most expensive restaurants, all to say, "Honey, I love you."

Ladies, and men, stop it! It's time to say enough is enough with Valentine's Day.

What do I want? How about men and women loving, caring and sharing the other 364 days a year? February 14 isn't the only time to send flowers to your woman (ladies, we wouldn't mind getting a surprise delivery as well!). How about dropping her a flower arrangement on May 14? And on that card you need to write, "Just because..."

Instead of men and women spicing up their sex life on February 14, make the effort to satisfy your mate the rest of the year.

If last Valentine's Day was the last time you took your significant other out to a really nice restaurant, you deserve to be in trouble.

Are you planning to treat your man or woman to a wonderful day at the spa this Saturday? Well, I'm sure he or she would thoroughly enjoy the same in June or July.

It's time that we all take stock of our relationships and learn that we are to be loving and fulfilled 365 days a year, and not reduce our affection to flowers, candy, jewelry, clothes and a meal on one day a year.

The people who plan their lives around Valentine's are like those who spend more time planning their wedding day rather than planning their marriage. The day is nice and wonderful, but what makes it last is what you do on the "non-special" days.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Roland Martin.

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