Valentine’s Day {Alla Hjärtans Dag} – You’re Lame

Valentine’s Day in the United States is this overloaded, gift giving holiday invented by the flower, diamond, and chocolate cartels and headed by Hallmark, the godfather of greeting cards.

The benefit for them – they make a lot of money; the benefit to you – you’re stuck in a vicious cycle as a guy to give, give, give some more.

V-Day is a holiday that makes me puke. Men are coerced into buying useless gifts for women they are barely dating. The holiday revolves all around “making her happy” and sexist ideaology.

It is a codified domestic prostitution day: man buys gifts, woman wears skimpy lingerie. Hmmm, what could possibly happen next?!

Now I don’t have a problem with women wearing sexy lingerie or men buying gifts. The issue is doing it on one a single day because society and industry convinces you it is the right and only thing to do.

* Whatever happened to buying roses for your sweetie, guy or girl, when you felt like it?

* Whatever happened to going on a weekend trip, just because you want to with your sweetie?

* Whatever happened to women buying chocolates and roses for their men?

How has a holiday about love turned into a materialistic game for men to be “real men” and buy lavish gifts? And for women to dress super sexy because the way to show your appreciation for gifts is to wear sexy lingerie.

American commercialization happened. Here’s a series of online advertisements from websites in the US. I’m sure you Swedes will find them amusing and insane.

1800 Flowers – MAKE HER HAPPY!

Victoria’s Secret – Expect nothing less from them

Tiffany – For a $20,000 ring, sure, I love you!

Sears – Quite possibly the only store advocating that men can receive gifts too! Sacrilège!!

Kays Jeweler – They never have enough TV ads to hammer in the point

Godiva – Because without chocolate, Valentine’s Day is a useless holiday

De Beers – The master of making a carbon ston

Hallmark Greeting Cards – Seem to be coming to their senses by saying V-day is for everyone, meaning “us”.

Valentine’s Day in School in America
I remember in seventh grade, a girl named Yvette received some 200 helium balloons, dozens of dozen roses, several boxes of chocolates, and a couple dozen teddy bears. It took AND her possy to drop everything off at the school admin desk so she wouldn’t be a “distraction” for the students.

And in seventh grade, boys use all their income to woo and coo a girl who probably doesn’t care they walk the earth. A Shakespeare tragic comedy in the making.

And Valentine’s Day in middle/high school usually means girls are either crying or boasting their new-found riches. I was in the former category as dating was never an option on the table until I was 20. Guys were therefore just friends, and I quite liked it that way. But still, being one of the many people who were not showered with Valentine grams, roses, chocolates, teddy bears, makes you realize how unpopular you really are.

That’s the psychological impact of Valentine’s day: no one can be as popular or well showered with gifts as the next person. I think many of remember having conversations of,
“Oooo, what did he give you for V-day?
Oh, did you hear Becky’s boyfriend gave them a week holiday to Hawaii!
Oh sweetie, it’s okay to not have a valentine, you’ll meet someone special I promise!”


At home, my parents and I always celebrated Valentine’s day together. After all, it was only our little nuclear family in America, so sending me off somewhere for a weekend away from them didn’t make sense.

Even though my dad bought my mom beautiful roses for V-Day, he bought her roses and flowers all year long. When he traveled for work, he would buy us little gifts and even real NY apple pies when coming from NY. He bought mom jewelry whenever she wanted and Dunkin donut’s for me as a treat.

{And of course he bought her things when he was in the dog house}

It was Valentine’s Day every month in our house.

Today, I’m really happy to not have to deal with that shit and I pray Sweden’s little kids don’t get sucked up into a cultural phenomena that men have to buy gifts to prove their “love” and women can demand gifts from any potential boy in their class.

{Though I did torture my husband and tell him he had to buy a valentine gift on our sixth date in three weeks. He bought a full set of lotions and scrubs from The Body Shop. It proved that we are both crazy.}

But tonight, we’re making crepes with friends and drinking a good bottle of champagne and eating treats. Valentine’s day is a holiday for everyone, even our little bunny.

And because I don’t need lame ass roses for my husband to prove his worth.

12 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day {Alla Hjärtans Dag} – You’re Lame”

  1. I hate the idea and notion that I need a special day to buy a marked-up price of flowers/diamonds/gifts and battle with the millions of other couples for dinner in the city when I can do it every other day. Nothing like surprising her at work when she’s having a bad day with flowers, diamonds, or having a male stripper visit her at the office!

    I say V-Day should be “Me-Day” and the other 364 (365 this year) days can be special. One day, ALL ABOUT ME!

  2. I am really glad that I have never felt under the commercial spell of V-Day.

    In the past, I have had boyfriends (non-UK ones) who always gave me presents under no pressure :-D

  3. I just celebrated my 1st vday with my Swede – there was one failed attempt in a past life that felt very forced and of course failed miserably as Mr. less-than-perfect sat at a bar sipping beers, having forgot about the dinner reservation we made 5 hrs earlier ;). I absolutely get what you’re writing here – if this is the one day that you’re showing some nice gestures than you’re doing it wrong. But as I am swimming on cloud nine for the 16th month straight, i figured that I’d do something for my guy anyway (not expecting anything back!). I have to emphasize that we spoil each other all the time, and I don’t mean in a material way, but I still decided to go ahead and do something a bit more special (read: I made chocolate fondant on top of dinner, which we cook fresh almost every day anyway). Vday or not, we had a lovely evening and reminded each other we’re so good together. Which we haven’t done for 24 hours, so it was about time ;).
    btw, I just found your blog because i was looking what do Swedes eat on Fat Tuesday and lost at least 2 hours at work, reading all the observations on dating Swedes. I had to laugh since so much of it really checks out (not with my Most Important Guy, he breaks through a lot of the generalizations, i.e. he was the one to pick me up and pursue me and it wasn’t in a bar/club, so alcohol was not involved ;) ). there is a big swedish population where we live so I get to observe a lot :D. I tried to play match maker once (there was obvious physical attrachtion) between a Swede and my girlfriend from a different, slightly more temperamental country. It didn’t work out since he couldn’t make a single move ;)

  4. @andrew – i wonder how the office would take having a male stripper!

    @knitandmade – well said!

    @Estelliane – Are you sure they were under no pressure? I mean like the cartoon above, you got to be under a lot of pressure to produce a diamond. :)

    @mahya – =)

    @magda – glad you found the blog! see, what you’re saying makes sense: you shouldn’t force a romantic evening because everyone else is doing it. You just have a romantic evening because you want it.

    BTW, swedish people eat semlor on Fat Tuesday. Tomorrow will be a post about it!

    Just have to say, that the Swede is still the cutest. came home with three very lovely red roses. And a third wheel friend brought me Anton Berg chocolates! And I made dinner for everyone.

  5. I love the cartoon! Purely awesome :D

    Well, well I missed eating Semlor when I was in Stockholm. However, a little miracle happened: the Swedish Meetup Group is doing a fika at Fika with semlor :D * Estelliane doing a little victory dance*

    Aw, the Swede rocks! ^_^

  6. I remember one commercial which said something along the lines of ‘If you want to keep your wife, make sure to buy her a fur coat this Valentine’s day, don’t give her another reason to leave you.’

    I told my Swede that if he bought me a fur coat we were going to have some pretty big problems – pretty much because I think fur is disgusting – but either way, the sentiment was a pretty scary one.

  7. @survivinginsweden – that is disturbing. i would have some serious problems if my husband ever bought me a fur coat too. but the idea that you need to give a fur coat to keep your lady is medieval and gross for today’s life.

    I guess you never know what a company will do/say to sell stuff!

  8. I don’t really get the point of v-day?
    i thinik it’s just a day thought up by two lonely men that can’t get laid on a friday or satuday:P
    i like to show my appreciation to my loved ones every single day and preferably when they don’t expect it,

    on febuary 14th i sat home all by my self and did nothing, all my friends where with there partners or someone they’ve just met, and that just made my stumick sick, i hate that you really have to have a day when your boy/girlfriend show how they appreciate you.

    a told many of my friends that they were stupid to buy expensive stuffs to their loved ones but they only replied that they lov’em and would do anything for them,


    P.S i love your blog and i suck at english grammar so bare with me!

    Happy duck hunting!

  9. @Pontus – Agree with you. It is probably one of the most bizarre holidays out there that is built to make people feel bad.

    Thanks for reading the blog!

  10. I love v-day. No, you don’t have to watch tv nor go for ‘propaganda’. But it is a great excuse to ask out someone you are meaning to. Plus, seeing who is hankering for what helped me find the person who was right for me: she loved going out for dinner on v-day, the same thing we do every Friday! Sorry but this thing about mixing 7th grade popularity contest with american commercialization, doesn’t cut it for me. There are so many people not into that. But at least you have diversity. For good and for bad (‘ bad = not being like me’ lol).

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