Last week I was working on some digital Valentine’s cards; something to email special friends and family; something that would make this February 14th, memorable and meaningful. As I was creating them, I would send the odd one out on twitter to my followers to gauge the response on which one would hit a high note, and perhaps get some feedback too as to why they didn’t like a particular card. My experiment quickly turned into garbage when a wave of Tweeps replied back saying that my Valentine’s Day cards were so passé, “so yesterday,” and that receiving them would be considered, “tacky” in some circles. I recoiled at the notion that something so entrenched in our culture would be considered, “tacky.” But then I stopped and thought about this, and then came to the conclusion that there are many other things in our culture that I too would consider “tacky” as well, so I can sympathise with you on this one.
As time went by, say several hours, a new wave of Tweeps appeared, texting at how nice, sweet, lovely, these cards were, and some even used the word, “cute,” as an adjective, and noun, to rate them. So I wanted to know why there was such as division between my Tweep followers? Or for that matter, why so many proclaimed that they detested the who concept of Valentine’s Day to begin with, and then secretly admired the gifts that they got from their admirers?
Culturally, every person who has grown up in Canada, particularly in British Columbia, has had exposure to the concept of giving Valentine’s Day cards away before. However, as I found out, some people see it as a child’s custom rather than something that can be practised later on into adulthood. But gift giving is something that is entrenched within our societal makeup. We only changed the cards from food and shinny objects as cave people, to paper with images and text as children in the twenty century, and remember that Valentine was from around 469AD. The specific occasion of freely giving the cards away to everyone is not a new idea, and is practised in many other cultures as well. And of course there is the story, the legend, of Valentine and his prison experience of how the card/note giving trend started. As we grew up from children to young adults, the cards gave way to focusing on that one true love, and those more deliberate gifts such as roses and chocolates, but the basic concept still remains, giving to those you love, care about, and wish to express yourself with, without being creepy, or of stocker in origin.
So, from all of those Tweeps who bucked at the notion of Valentine’s Day, when the day finally arrived, their hearts and minds quickly changed as their loved ones gave them roses, cards, gifts of chocolate and took them out on special dinners. The Tweets were funny, bold and hilarious, as all of those naysayers proudly proclaimed that their boy friends, lovers and secret admirers, had given something, something for Valentine’s Day. Both the men and women Tweeps spewed out proclamations of salutations of Cupid’s arrows across the Intranet. Even Tweeps who were single were getting messages and flowers from secret, anonymous, admirers. It was so “cute.”
Also, as a side note, today is also my Mother’s birthday. Sort of the double event for today. I phoned her yesterday to wish her a happy birthday, and a wonderful Valentine’s day, as she lives across the country. We both work.
I created this card with both the Chinese New Year tied to the Valentine’s Day tradition, and combined them together. Who doesn’t love bunnies and love? Of course if you are a modest Tweep who thinks that this is all a child’s tradition that is infected with corporate commercial diseases, then to each his own.