Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Series #13(?!): Restaurants are Decidedly Not Romantic (that day)

13 Feb

Before we get to the meat (pun!) of my Valentine’s topic–will somebody please help me?  I used to edit and edit (I know!  Can you believe it?  I know you couldn’t tell) each post as a draft.  And now I’m not sure how I can start writing, leave, come back–however many times, then publish it later.  Help!

My topic this year is a favorite Valentine’s activity–dining out–and how it’s actually horrible because of this contrived day.

Restaurants are fun.  You can try new and exciting food, eat something you don’t know how to make, avoid grocery shopping, spend time chatting with your loved one rather than minding the stove.  AND the cleaning is up to someone else.  All good things.  Yet, dining out on Valentine’s Day isn’t.  good.

Why?

Everyone else had the same idea.  And that sucks.  According to ideas-time.com, “53 percent of couples planning to celebrate the holiday with dinner this year will be doing so in a restaurant” (1).  It requires planning and a competitive spirit to capture seats at a restaurant on V-Day.  Sometimes the thinking ahead has to be months and months ahead.  Often, you have to settle for something, whether it be the time you get to eat, or worse, the place itself.  “Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year for reservation-taking restaurants,” reports OpenTable.com (1).

As such, there can be no spontaneity because restaurants are booked.  And what is more romantic than being spontaneous?  Sometimes the stars just align and you end up somewhere, and it captures the perfect moment or creates the best memory.  Valentine’s on the contrary has to be PLANNED.  There is no room for error here.  As a matter of fact, you better get that reservation on the books early, because “25% of people eat out (making it the 2nd most popular day at restaurants after Mother’s Day)” (4)!

If you get into the dinner at all, the parking will suck.  It may or not be at a time that you and your date like.  The time may or may not work nicely with any other events or activities planned that evening.  Maybe you don’t get to see a movie, star-gaze, or have a moment at the park.  The point is–the restaurant is the WHOLE thing.  And already it’s kind of a bummer. . .

And there WILL be waiting.  “An increased number of tables means more orders for waiters to manage, which spells trouble even for veteran teams,” popsugar/food.com asserts (5).  If you’re lucky enough to be seated right away, you’ll still end up waiting for the drinks, the food, or the check (at least one of those things-if not all three).  A reasonable explanation for the waiting problem:

Instead of the typical two special orders he [your chef] might get an entire night, he’ll get no less than 50 on Valentine’s Day, whether it’s requests for sauce on the side or a steak well-done instead of medium rare. “We always try to make guests happy, but it does affect the flow,” says Symon. Considering that the kitchen crew is seeing 50 tickets for two people at one time instead of the usual 25 for four, it’s no wonder the kitchen’s a veritable pressure cooker (1).

The quiet, romantic little place will be crowded and loud.  And was that anybody’s idea of romance?  I mean, there will be no whispering of sweet nothings and no privacy.  You and your date will be just another one of the many, many love-birds taking over the place.  NOT special.  Your favorite restaurant will also be different than usual.  But WHY?!, you ask, and popsugar/food.com explains:

You won’t get a true taste for what the restaurant has to offer. With a high demand for reservations, many restaurants choose to serve a prix-fixe menu in lieu of the establishment’s greatest hits. Not because it makes for a better meal, but because a prix-fixe menu reduces cost and complication. The problem: it can be unfamiliar to both the cooks and wait staff, inviting more opportunity for mistakes (5).

I read a survey of restaurant owners and how they feel about Valentine’s Day:  “Many restaurateurs including Carter say overcrowded dining rooms combined with overpriced prix fixe menus can lead to a high-pressure experience for both restaurants and diners” (3).  Your favorite entrée may not be included on the prix-fix menu–or worse, not cooked as well as usual.  And that’s the WORST.  So the reason you came to this location in the first place is ruined!  With Valentine’s Day hype and numbers, comes your restaurant staff in survival mode.

The restaurant will be crowded with people who have made these reservations waaay ahead of time, on a romantic day of expectations.  They have dressed up, and even have to forego other plans because of weird reservation times or a late seating.  Therefore, those lovey couples want to savor the moment.  It’s a circular problem, the menu is prix fixe, service slow, and bill expensive because everyone is crammed in on one day, and the people are over-staying and being high-maintenance.  Causing the prices to have to be increased for the restaurant to be profitable.  As grubstreet.com writes:

One part of the equation is that diners tend to linger longer than they might on typical nights, making it difficult to turn tables quickly. “You don’t want to rush people out,” Hough says. “You want people to enjoy their experiences.” He says that Il Buco handles about 200 diners on a typical Saturday, but on Valentine’s Day, the restaurant will only see 150. “But,” he adds, “you make that up with the prix fixe.” (7).

The menu will probably be pared down and both your wait-staff and the cooks will be run, run running to try to accommodate a larger than usual set of diners.  And the composition of this crowd?  Couples.  With high expectations and reservations.  Who might not have been to a restaurant in a long time, and may not be familiar with this particular restaurant.  For some, this might be the one time they eat out in the year.  AKA–they will struggle.  They don’t know how to order quickly, what the new dining trends are, or they may have tons of questions.  And that contributes to more snags:  “Too many rookies at any one restaurant can disrupt the flow and feel of a place” (3).

Eating out on Valentine’s Day will be expensive!  Maybe even more than usual.  Ideas-time.com says “the average bill on V-Day will be $142.11” (1)! It’s like this:  Either the restaurant is diabolical and knows you’re in a tricky spot and HAVE to have that romantic dinner out on this sexist day of spending so they hold you hostage (reason 2 coming up after this).  As LAmag.com’s article agrees,

“Restaurants are a challenging business. You have to fight for every butt in a seat, for every cover, for every dollar. But then you have a day when there’s a captive audience. They’re obligated to go out and to do something more extravagant than they would normally would. So—and this is the sort of sinister part—the idea was always, ‘Let’s give them something more extravagant and bind them by making it the only choice.’ I mean it makes business sense right?” (6). 

OR the restaurant is simply economical (with much the same expensive result).  You’re going to pay for any fancy, romantic menu items.  A restaurantier interviewed for grubstreet.com speaks of the dilemma facing owners on V-Day:

The problem is that it’s tough to force people into a menu full of special foods while also pricing it accordingly: “You can never mark up truffles what you’d need it to cost,” Bissell points out. “People would say, ‘I’m not gonna pay that much for a black rock from the ground, no matter how much I love it.” But he also points out you can’t put together a Valentine’s menu and not offer something like truffles, so he has to face up to the reduced profitability: “I absorb some of that.” (7). 

So the pricing isn’t entirely due to greed.  Here is another contributing factor to higher prices on Valentine’s–the tables themselves.  Think of a restaurant.  Most of the seating is booths.  Or the bar.  On such a couple’s-centric day–neither are getting utilized as they normally would.  Ideastime.com breaks it down:

The reservation list is packed with “two tops,” industry-speak for tables of two. As a result, the tables for four or more — usually the most lucrative on any other day — go empty. So, for many restaurants, the heat is on to pack in and turn over as many two tops as possible to make up for the loss. “Basically what’s going through the manager’s mind — besides taking care of the guests — is, ‘How am I going to maximize seating?  They need customers to eat quickly, spend a lot, or both. Trouble is, this is also the time of the year when customers are feeling poor (1).

You are going to pay for the overcrowding of small tables, and lack of filled booths.  You are going to be charged for the restaurant’s trouble.

My main point = if you eat out on Valentine’s Day you are probably going to leave disappointed.  FoodWolf.com sums it up nicely:

The diner that books a holiday reservation—regardless of whether or not they are aware of it—have an elevated expectations that are nearly impossible to obtain.  More than anything, the diner imagines, the dining experience on this night should elevate this special moment.  It’s not wrong for diners to expect a great experience. But a restaurant—even the best ones—can not be all things to all people (2).

So there it is, folks.  How Valentine’s Day manages to ruin even a seemingly joyous, wonderful experience-eating out.   My solution, forgo Valentine’s Day, and go to a restaurant any other day of the year to truly celebrate your love.  It’ll be TONS better of an experience!

 

 

 

1st link (1):

Why Restaurants and Valentine’s Day Don’t Mix

2nd article (2):

 

http://www.foodwoolf.com/2010/02/service-restaurant-recommendation-valentines-day.html

3rd link (3):

 

http://www.pennlive.com/food/index.ssf/2018/01/oreo_subscription_box_amazon.html

link 4 (4):

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelle-pruett/valentines-day-dining-by-the-numbers_b_9178768.html

link 5 (5):

https://www.popsugar.com/food/Why-You-Shouldnt-Eat-Out-Valentine-Day-39904265

link 6 (6):

 

http://www.lamag.com/digestblog/the-truth-behind-why-restaurants-suck-on-valentines-day/

link 7 (7):

http://www.grubstreet.com/2015/02/surprising-economics-of-valentines-day.html

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Anti-Valentine’s Post: Going Global

13 Feb

As you know, I hate that fake-a$$ holiday, and have been really good about writing an annual blog post about all that’s wrong with it. This is my eleventh? such post, I think!!!  Even when I’m terrible about writing anything else throughout the year. It’s important to me to get it done.

And yes, I am still a lazy writer (in my blog) and do not treat this as a college research paper. BUT given this era of opinion-pieces, unsubstantiated “alternate facts,” and plain ‘ol made-up nonsense, I’ve tried to at least indicate my sources. Is there a proper citation with bibliography-no! Can you tell I just didn’t pull the information and figures out of my a$$–I hope so.  Here we go my annual why Valentine’s Day is detrimental and shouldn’t be celebrated:

"The Models Go Green" -- The models POSE FOR A photo shoot of the negative effects of smoking on AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL on The CW. Pictured: Janet (Cycle 9) (902) Photo: Mike Rosenthal/The CW ©2007 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

“The Models Go Green” — The models POSE FOR A photo shoot of the negative effects of smoking on AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL on The CW.
Pictured: Janet
(Cycle 9) (902)
Photo: Mike Rosenthal/The CW
©2007 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Fear sells products.

Just ask the beauty industry. First step-Put great emphasis on a women’s physical appearance. Socnond, Insinuate that’s WHO she is (beauty), Third, indicate that beauty is the only way she derives all her power. Finally, make her afraid she’s losing looks and beauty through aging. Sales of lotion and makeup boom!

Sex sells.

angel-3

Look at any magazine, poster, or label. Nakedness abounds. People are more interested if there’s a hint of sexuality. True story.  Does there really even need to be persuasion here?  I hope not.  I will assume no, and move on.

Combine fear WITH sex and you have capitalist gold. Thus, Valentines Day.  And why a Catholic tragedy is even a current thing at all.

money
And with stock-markets demanding quarterly growth, more and more corporations are looking to foreign markets to increase sales. Advertising DOES have an impact on culture. Other countries do look to the United States, a world power. So it makes sense that America’s ad campaigns do dictate cultural change around the world.

cambodia-map-for-introduction
One example of the negative influence of America’s capitalism, specifically the notion Valentine’s Day must culminate in sex, is Cambodia. The country is in Southeast Asia, near Thailand and Laos. Cambodia has a tumultuous history, with the Brits colonizing it for awhile, communists taking refuge there for a time, and Americans bombing it (just the commies though!  *sarcasm*  obviously) during Vietnam conflict. As a person with an American education, I’m not sure of the whole history, or what Cambodia’s politics are today (or honestly, anything about them), but I know the treatment of women there is not that awesome.

Cambodia is apparently dramatic about romance. They have a concept called “sansar,” which means something like, Valentine or true love, or the person I want to marry. And this Sansar notion is heavily associated with Valentine’s Day. The people Combining the Valentine’s Day money = love = sexual reward with Cambodia’s ingrained notions of gender has resulted in a phenomenon of under-aged sex. In Cambodia Valentine’s Day is their prom–the expectation is to have sex.

The ministry of education in Cambodia issued a statement Tuesday imploring teachers to impress upon their students that Valentine’s Day is not about losing one’s virginity. Chuon Naron says in the statement “Cambodian students take Valentine’s Day to mean ‘sweetheart day,’ and they buy flowers as a way to convince girls to give up their virginity.” An exacerbating factor,”Cambodians have no idea about sex and their sexual rights because the sexual health education curriculum remains unimplemented.” (1) Education Minister Hang.

The quantitative survey on Love and sexual relationships found that 12. 4 percent young people state that they will be able to have sex and 14.3 young people in a couple state that they will able to have sex with their sweethearts on the upcoming Valentine’s Day. (2) Valentine’s Day in Phnom Penh in 2009.

Even worse? It has been reported that this sex will happen whether or not every participant is ready, whether or not they’re in a trusting, committed relationship, whether or not permission is given. Yes, not only has American-economy-driven Valentine’s capitalistic hedonism caused the sexualiziation of a “holiday” it had contributed to rape culture.

According to United Nations research (*A) one in five Cambodian men admit to raping a woman at least once. Half of that number started before the age of 20. (4) And nearly two-thirds said they had raped their partner, or more explicitly, their songsar. The figure rose to 34 percent when asked if they had committed physical or sexual violence against a woman. (3) 2013.

Jesus.

Public health specialist, Tong Soprach, conducted a smaller study of this trend from 2009-2014. He interviewed 715 Cambodians, aged 15 to 24, and what he found was staggering. In 2009, roughly two-thirds of young males said they were willing to force their partners to have sex on Valentine’s Day. [What??!] That number dropped some by 2014, but was still alarmingly high: among 376 male respondents, about 47 percent. (4) Phnom Penh Post, 2009.

National Police spokesman, Lieutenant General Kirth Chantharith, agrees that education is key to putting a halt to this abuse. He pointed out that most of the youth don’t understand the concept of Valentine’s Day, adding that “a lot of boys want to use this day for sex and to exploit girls”. Just how culturally accepted it is to engage in non-consensual sex is illustrated by the fact that half of the women interviewed for the UN study believed they couldn’t refuse to have sex with their husband. Two years ago, according to Chantharith, the police noticed a significant increase in sexual violence and rape among the capital’s youth on Valentine’s Day. “There are many young men going to the guest houses late at night with a girl – sometimes a group of boys with a girl – and they commit sexual violence,” he said. “So when we see a girl alone at night, leaving a bar with a boy or a group, we intervene.” (5)  On the whole, though rape and sexual violence isn’t only endemic in the southeast Asian country, but is treated by many as the norm, meaning perpetrators largely go unpunished.

So there’s that. Thanks U.S. Capitalistic fake holiday.  Obviously, this is one of the more horrible consequences that stem from constructing a holiday about “love” but really about money.  I think as citizens of the United States, we can admit Valentines Day is contrived and exploited in order to sell products.  Fear of being alone and single are combined with terribly impractical idealized romantic images, which are not really a thing aside from February 14th.  As a leading country, we need to be careful what we support and how we portray ourselves.  Our country (like it or not) is a role model for other places.  And our capitalistic patriarchy combined with a worse-for-wear undeveloped countries norms has lead to disastrous effects on women.

 

Think twice about what you support.
_______________________________________
(A)
http://www.partners4prevention.org/sites/default/files/resources/p4p-report.pdf

(1)
https://www.cambodiadaily.com/archives/on-valentines-day-a-deep-generational-divide-77963/

(2) PAGE 14

http://soprach.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/love_sexual_relationships_valentine_quan_study-14_eng.pdf

(3)
http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2015/02/11/cambodia-valentine-s-not-virginity-day.html?via=desktop&source=copyurl

4)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/12/the-country-where-valentines-day-is-the-most-dangerous-day-of-the-year/?utm_term=.e7eba904a65f

5)
https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/cambodia-valentines-day-rape-consent-phnom-pen

Valentine’s: No More!

13 Feb

I have written about how I loathe V-Day many, many years in a row now.  And honestly, if I haven’t convinced you the contrived holiday is a terrible thing by now, I’m just not going to.  I have approached the problem from every angle I can think of.  And with all sincerity, I tried to find a fresh one this year.  Which is why I only started writing this post on the 11th.  I just can’t think of new reasons not to participate.  So I’ll just reiterate points I’ve probably made before.  With an emphasis on non-participation.

 

YOU CAN’T ESCAPE IT.  As you know, my dear readers, I am not a fan of Valentine’s day—to say the least.  But it’s not the kind of “holiday” that can go ignored.  It’s thrown in your face.  Advertsements for chocolate, chocolate-covered strawberries, and jewlry are suddenly inescapable.  And I don’t even have television stations or listen to radio.  Still-pervasive.  Going into the stores—forget about it!  Pink and red are poking my eyes out.  Facebook—the zoos?? Have already started contests for couples.  And the resturants are gearing up for a big income night.  Even at work, they decorated the building with hearts—one with my name on it.  And you can’t say—don’t do that without looking like a total douche-bag.  I wish I could rip my heart off the door though!  Ugh, and the talk.  Everybody will talk about the big day.  The showing off about plans already starts.  Or the sad-sacks (because that’s the camp everyone else gets lumped into) whine about not having plans.

 

I didn’t know this before, but even the boys will take desperation dates in order to take advantage of lonely, stigmatized women.  They want the easy sex-opportunity:  Information courtesy of the boys at work. . .  And you can’t just say you don’t believe in the day, or try to ignore it, because you are then lumped into the bitter at being a sad-sack group.  Which isn’t right and it isn’t accurate.

 

It’s also awkward at work, because people suddenly ask you candidly about your relationship status.  For private people, people with complicated situations, or prople trying to have discretion (read—gays in Utah) this topic is frought with danger.  It’s rude not to answer.  It’s sketchy to be vaugue.  But sharing could yield judgment or consequences.  So there’s that. . .

 

Now let me try to find some sort of statistics of people that believe in or participate in Valentine’s day to see what everyone else feels.

Valentines Day Statistics

Statistic Verification
Source: Retail Advertising and Marketing Associatio, Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey
Research Date: January 24th, 2016
Valentine’s Day Statistics Data
Average annual Valentine’s Day spending $13,290,000,000
Number of Valentine’s Day cards exchanged annually 180 Million
Average number of roses produced for Valentine’s Day 198,000,000
Percent of Valentine’s Day cards bought by women 85 %
Percent of all flowers purchased by men 73 %
Percent of women who send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day 14 %
Amount the average consumer spends on Valentine’s Day $116.21
Percent of consumers who celebrate Valentine’s Day 61.8 %
Percent of women who would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentines day. 53 %
Average number of children conceived on Valentine’s day 11,000
Gifts Most Often Given on Valentines Day (Allowing for multiple gifts given) Data
Candy 47.5 %
Flowers 34.3 %
Cards 52.1 %
Jewelry 17.3 %
Dining / Eating Out 34.6 %
Clothing 14.4 %
Gift Cards 12.6 %
Other Gifts 11.2 %
Valentine Related Business Statistics
Number of locations producing chocolate and cocoa products 1,233
Number of people employed by the these establishments 38,794
Revenue of domestically cut flowers $403 Million
Number of florists nationwide 24,600
Number of people employed by florists 123,600
Number of jewelry stores in the U.S. 27,484
Annual revenue from jewelry stores $2.2 Billion
Relationship Statistics
Ratio of single men in their 20’s to single women in their 20’s 1.2 to 1
Ratio of sinlgle men 65 or older to single women 65 or older 0.33 to 1
Number of dating service establishments nationwide 904
Average number of marriages annually 2.16 million

Valentine’s Day Year #10 [Sex Edition]

13 Feb

I think this topic may be my most consistent post.  Happy decade of annual posts to me!  TEN years in a row I have managed to address the ills of this “holiday.”  That’s exciting, and even though I’m very tired and short of time, here’s me making it happen.

I try each year to convey why Valentine’s Day is fake and ultimately negative.  See my “Valentine’s” Tag for prior topics which include feminism, environment, and capitalism among other things.  I really do hate this “holiday” and hope I won’t have to be inundated with it at work Saturday.  Hair salons are the WORST on Valentine’s day, followed by schools, but I imagine the YMCA will not be able to ignore the day, and I’m dreading that.  This year I will focus on. . .  Sex.  The inevitable conclusion of the day.  How could I have just remembered to write about THIS?!  

-the holiday emphasizes the man wining/dining and spoiling women with gifts. This emphasizes women as receivers, and passive. It also is a little prostitution-positive = You give me (women) valuable things and I’ll have sex with you (men)!

strange to see Bunny Ranch on my Facebook wall
-more prescriptions are written for Viagra around Valentine’s Day than any other time of year.  Which should tell you everyone is gearing up for the final moment.

– See more at: http://www.redhot.org/news/national-condom-day/#sthash.uRJgwOua.dpuf

Kidron's NV pics 069
-the condom industry sales increase by 20-30% around this day (it’s also national condom day–no joke)

So we can ascertain that all the Valentine’s hype DOES in fact lead to this logical conclusion:  Sex.  And as we know there are a lot of consequences of sex, and contemplating and preventing those issues is notoriously not our strong point as humans.  Here is some information about some of those–which do play a part on February 14th.

Amazing_Electron_Microscope_Photos_Mosquito_Head-1mdCU
-In their study, Grimley and her colleagues focused on 224 men — all with STD symptoms — who sought treatment in a Birmingham STD clinic. The average age was 26. In face-to-face, private interviews, each was asked the same set of questions. Among them:

How often have you used a condom in the past month?
How long have you been using condoms?
Do you have any intention of starting condom use?
Why do you use condoms?
Do you wear condoms for STD prevention or to protect your partner from pregnancy and disease?
Why don’t you use condoms?
And the results:

80% reported that most people their age did not use condoms consistently. They also said that 61% of people their age had gonorrhea.
81% acknowledged sexual contact with two or more partners during the preceding six months.
45% reported sexual relationships that overlapped.
65% said they had been diagnosed with one or more STDs in the past.
Of those men with one main sexual partner, two-thirds were not motivated to use condoms.
http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/news/20040126/many-men-dont-use-condoms?page=2

http://www.companiesandmarkets.com/MarketInsight/Consumer-Goods/Global-Condom-Industry/NI8052

610

STDs are not only a social ill, but they are financially costly to everyone:

-CDC’s new [2/13/13] estimates show that there are about 20 million new infections
in the United States each year, costing the American healthcare system
nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone.
America’s youth shoulder a substantial burden of these infections.
CDC estimates that half of all new STIs in the country occur among
young men and women. In addition, CDC published an overall estimate of the number of prevalent STIs in the nation. Prevalence is the total number of new and existing infections at a given time. CDC’s new data suggest that there are more than 110 million total STIs among men and women across the nation.
-STIs place a significant economic strain on the U.S. healthcare system. CDC conservatively estimates that the lifetime cost of treating eight of the most common STIs contracted in just one year is $15.6 billion.
http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf

Is it any accident that National Adoption Month is 9 months after Valentine’s Day? Only speculation, here. . .

So that’s really icky.  Also, let’s not forget HIV/AIDS is an ever-present threat on the scene and any holiday that emphasizes that we must copulate threatens to make this scare even bigger than it already is.  How about a day in which caution is practiced?!

33621_456830357625_596627625_5259997_1855811_n
-at-home pregnancy tests also see a spike in sales in March (early at home pregnancy test month–for reals!).  It’s the highest sales month all year, as a matter-of-fact.
-Consumers spend more than $15 million on pregnancy and infertility test kits during the second, third and fourth weeks of March, with the third week of March ranking number one in sales.
http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/nielsen/en_us/documents/pdf/Press%20Releases/2008/Feb/Nielsen%20U.S.%20Consumers%20Sweet%20on%20Chocolate%20for%20Valentine%E2%80%99s%20Day.pdf

Another obvious conclusion to romantic nights are the pregnancies that stem from them.  Many of them unplanned, unaffordable, or at worst–unwanted.
-Currently, about half (51%) of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the United States each year (3.4 million) are unintended.  In 2008, there were 54 unintended pregnancies for every 1,000 women aged 15–44. In other words, about 5% of reproductive-age women have an unintended pregnancy each year.[6]
• By age 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and three in 10 will have had an abortion.[7].
• The U.S. unintended pregnancy rate is significantly higher than the rate in many other developed countries.[8]  In 2008, two-thirds (65%) of the 1.7 million births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public insurance programs, primarily Medicaid. In comparison, 48% of births overall and 36% of births resulting from intended pregnancies were funded by these programs.[13]
• In 14 states and the District of Columbia, at least 70% of births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public programs. Mississippi was the state with the highest proportion (83%), and the District of Columbia’s proportion was 90%.[13]
• Total public expenditures for births resulting from unintended pregnancies nationwide were estimated to be $12.5 billion in 2008. Of that, $7.3 billion were federal expenditures and $5.2 billion were state expenditures.[13]
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-Unintended-Pregnancy-US.html

crabby

So though I did much cut & pasting this year (I apologize) because of my work schedule and residual tiredness, I’m sticking with my opinion, Valentine’s day is full of bad side-affects, among them STDs and pregnancy along with all the fallout that goes along with those two things.  Please reconsider supporting such a day.  And if you must celebrate, and have sex, remember to be responsible and take so many precautions.

Broken Heart [Anti-Valentine Part 9]

14 Feb

This may be the only annual post I’ve completed every year since I began blogging.  THAT’S how important I feel it is to spread the message the Valentine’s Day is nothing positive.

2007:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/my-opinion-of-valentines-day-posted-2-14-07/

2008:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/where-is-the-love-posted-2-13-08/

2009:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/valentines-dread/

2010:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/nix-the-red-pink-and-save-some-green/

2011:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/blood-diamonds-and-valentines-day/

2012:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/valentines-day-part-4-gender-roles/

2013:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/shove-it-down-your-throat/

It’s all hype and phoniness, and contrived to SELL merch.  This year, I’ll be focusing more in the feelings of inadequacy and loneliness the “holiday” can foster.  Sure, I’ve mentioned it before, but I never talked of adult and teen depression and the very real consequences of these emotions:  Divorce and suicide.

blacks birds

Valentine’s Day is a day of those who have it and those who don’t.  “It,” being commercialized, overt, expressions of love.  This is not to be confused with actual love, friendly-love, or compassion.  Those are all very real, and intangible feelings that can’t be bought or paraded around for the admiration and envy of others.  And though they’re different then the passionate type of love flaunted on Valentine’s Day, I’d argue they’re even more important.  And substantial.

For those who feel left out of the Valentine’s commotion, life can feel pretty empty.  And just try to get away from all the hearts, flowers, and gifts that day.  The advertising and parading is ubiquitous.  And teens are imprisoned at school, can’t find an escape.  People who are already having relationship woes find them exacerbated by the great expectations of February 14th.  A product of failed expectations can be a ruined family unit.  Teens with low self-esteem or who are still testing relationship waters and don’t have that ONE special person–can get down.

Also written by someone else, but very pertinent to MY point:

Some students left school with armloads of gifts, while many others sat empty-handed. Some girls sent flowers to each other, and I knew more than one who sent flowers to herself. I remember seeing girls cry in the restroom after their boyfriends failed to send them a gift, and I remember watching boys cruelly snicker as they watched an unpopular girl react with joy as she received a flower supposedly from one of their buddies, but which was really just a mean hoax.

Facts from other internet sources (take the validity as you will):

-Forty percent of people have negative feelings towards Valentine’s Day.

-A recent poll found that one in ten young adults admitted to feeling lonely, insecure, depressed, or unwanted on Valentine’s Day. And that’s just the ones that admitted it.

-divorce internet search/lawyers increase around this day

-Research suggests that 75 percent of suicide attempts are attributable to relationship problems.

-Last year, the Missouri Suicide Crisis hotline had extra staff on duty because they expected approximately 50 percent more calls on Valentine’s Day.

Laurel's pics 189It breaks MY heart that our commercialistic society whole-heartedly endorses a holiday that’s so hurtful to so many people in order to sell a few teddy bears.  It’s hard to feel good about a holiday that leaves so many adults left feeling lonely and disappointed.  A day that leaves students feeling miserable about themselves, and drives them to take drastic measures.  

I like the idea of GALentines day or PALintines day a lot better.  I fine those all-inclusive and based on making Leslie Knopeeveryone feel good.  Much better than just thrusting “love” in everybody else’s faces to feel superior and special.  And to the detriment of those that don’t.

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I Don’t Subscribe to Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

As the obnoxious gay fellow sitting next to me in class found out when he cheerfully asked if I was excited for the impending “holiday.”  If you don’t remember my practical explanations of why the day is created for gains of capitalism, unfair to males, encourages gendered and unreasonable expectations from women, is detrimental to the environment, and HURTS people (diamond miners), look back at my annual blog post.  

2 year anneversary 013

As I have exhausted all angles trying to persuade you to discontinue celebrating such an awful tradition, this year, I appeal to choice.  OK, I get it, February isn’t the greatest month.  Especially following those gigantic holidays of Novemeber, December, and January.  February is back to the grind.  And it’s still cold.  And there’s really nothing real to celebrate until Memorial Day.  By real, I exclude St. Patty’s day, another concocted day that is abused to celebrate getting drunk on green beer.  And Cinco de Mayo, where Mexican restaurants get into the black for the year by peddling. . .  “Mexican” food, and yet more alcohol.  

Lesle's eye-breasts

But I’m getting off the point here are some special events that have occured on February 14 in years past.  And any one of them could have a celebratory holiday devoted to it.  More Worthy Cause for Celebration:

1778:

  • The United States Flag was formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time, Anatomy 28when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte rendered a nine gun salute to USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones.

Yay!  Boating and America and the flag!  What’s not to like?  OK, we already have Flag Day, Independence Day, and you’re not feeling a holiday devoted to sailing for whatever reason.  There’s more:

1794:  1st U.S. textile machinery patent granted, to James Davenport, Philadelphia

Clothes and fashion!  But I see this becoming a capitalistic nightmare–let’s move on.

1872:  1st state bird refuge authorized (Lake Merritt, California)

LF unicornsNothing here to hate on.  And maybe a parade featuring birds would be in order.  Or free admission to all avian-related places.

1876:  A G Bell & Elisha Gray apply separately for telephone patents Supreme Court eventually rules Bell rightful inventor

Yes!  Phones and communication–we cannot live without those.  This could easily take over V-Day with all those Apple-heads everywhere.

1889:  1st train load of fruit (oranges) leaves Los Angeles for east

1899:  U.S. Congress begins using voting machines

Politics get more honest.  But they have a long way to go before a fair system is achieved *cough heffalumps and woozelsabolish lobbies*

1919:  United Parcel Service forms

Again, another service we absolutely could not live without.  

1920:  League of Women Voters forms in Chicago

Girl-Power!

1924:  IBM Corporation founded by Thomas Watson

wine countryMore communication things–I see a trend here. . .

1936:  National Negro Congress organizes in Chicago

Yes!  The beginning of Civil Rights!

1946:  Bank of England nationalized

1963:  U.S. launches communications satellite Syncom 1

1966:  Wilt Chamberlain breaks NBA career scoring record at 20,884 points

Such a great fact, but without drinking involved I’m not sure non-sports enthusiasts would be on Oct 2011 031board–and definitely not so close to Superbowl and the Daytona 500.  Moving on. . .

1966:  Australian currency is decimalised.

1971:  Richard Nixon installs secret taping system in White House

1976:  U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

LF penguinsBoo, hiss to all the resultant nuclear waste getting dumped in the state.

1978:  1st “micro on a chip” patented by Texas Instruments

Communication!  I’m telling you, this needs to be the communication holiday.  Pay homage to all of this technology we can’t get by without for even 10 minutes.

1989:  World’s 1st satellite Skyphone opens

See?

1989:  The first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System are placed into orbit.heart flowers

GPS too?  I’ve decided I’m replacing Valentine’s Day with some sort of communication celebration.

1990:  Space probe Voyager 1 takes photograph of entire solar system

All right!  So I think I’ve decided on the history of communication technology holiday.  Now, what makes a holiday great?  Food, definitely   Special beverages for sure.  A parade never hurts.  Something–festive.  And obviously, communicating to many people or in  some awesome way to celebrate history.  Well, we have until next year to decide 🙂  Happy Communication Day everyone!

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Shove It Down Your Throat

14 Feb

I think it’s interesting that people are so invested in some phony, superficial “holiday.” It is so obviously contrived and capitalistic and yet everyone keeps it alive.  Anyone who dares disagree about the legitimacy of Hallmark’s favorite invention must be bitter and loveless.  Shut up.  Wear pink.  Valentine’s day is a polarized issue. I want to know why. . .

I blame Disney and the romantic comedies.

Disney indoctrinates girls when they are still little.  The helpless princess is always saved by Prince Charming riding in on his white horse.  All she has to do is look pretty.  And wait.  Then she will be rescued, and lavished with gifts, money, and power.  With the romance comes money and power.

The romantic comedies are much the same, but geared toward older females.  They are the same fairytale wrapped in a different package, with the unrealistic story-lines of the woman waiting, the perfect guy showing up and saving her from a life of loneliness, despair, and heaven forbid single status.  Perfect Guy is just as handsome as Prince Charming.  He is creative and spontaneous in his gift-giving, and has the most romantic ideas ever.  If only the women is receptive to his advances.  Even if she isn’t, Perfect Guy will win her over with his cleverness and dedication.  Then the couple will be together.  And happy.

So it’s no wonder Valentine’s Day is celebrated so whole-heartedly.  This is the day women will be saved.  Prince Charming will come woe her, or Perfect Guy will prove himself.  Then, women can be happy.  Rich.  Powerful.

Do we still buy in to this story?  Do we, as modern, independent women still literally BUY in to this fairy-tale?  I say we shouldn’t.  I think love is more realistic and equal then Disney and the romantic comedies make it out to be.  I think a women should chase her own happiness instead of waiting and being receptive to advances.  And dare I say it–I think a women can be rich, powerful, and happy without a man.  We are no longer helpless princesses waiting for our Prince.  We make our own future.

So let’s tell the corporations to shove it.  We as women don’t need to wait to be lavished with expensive gifts in order to be rich, powerful, and happy.  We can strive toward our own goals without a man’s help.  And if we are in love, we can show it in how we treat each other.  Every day.  I don’t need a holiday to tell me to respect, appreciate, and love my mate, Cool.

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