Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Be My Anti Valentine

While collecting links for a post on Student Mum about Valentine's Day and kids, I came across the recent phenomenon of Anti Valentine's Day.

In an article about this for MSNBC, Allison Linn explains: Anti-Valentine’s Day cards have been popular among smaller distributors and Web-based e-card producers for several years. Now the trend is starting to attract more mainstream attention. Industry powerhouse American Greetings Corporation this year added 10 anti-Valentine’s Day cards to the roster of 2,500 cards it produces for the holiday. While it may be just a tiny portion of the company’s holiday effort, “that’s huge for a new product in our industry,” said American Greetings spokeswoman Megan Ferington.

Anti Valentine's Day is definitely a growing trend. CafePress spokesman Marc Cowlin said there are currently 22,502 anti-Valentine’s Day designs available on the site, nearly double the 11,555 designs available last year. Anti Valentine's Day cards tend to fall into two categories. They are either anti-love or against the consumerism of the day.

While not against Valentine's Day per se, having been single and without a date for 8 of the last 10 Valentine's Days, I can't say it's my favourite day of the year. I have made it a positive day in the past, by celebrating singledom with friends in the same situation, by celebrating it with the girls, or by treating myself to flowers and chocolates. (This particular attempt to cheer myself up failed miserably when the dog ate all my chocolates and then threw up everywhere!)

I do miss having someone special now and then, but am generally content being single, until I get my nose rubbed in it, until I'm made to feel less than complete without a partner!

And in the same way that I object to the materialism and commercialism of Christmas Day, I think Valentine's Day has lost it's true meaning in the consumerism, which is a real shame.

With almost every shop you walk into displaying hearts and flowers, and an amazing array of companies advertising on the telly (Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco, etc., WHSmiths, Marks and Spencers, even Marmite for goodness sake!) it's hard to miss. No wonder such cynicism is so widespread.

But Anti Valentine's Day is also about celebrating being single.
And just as importantly, highlighting the fact that romance is a far cry from flowers and chocolates one day a year, a day dictated to us, a day when everyone else buys flowers and chocolates too.
And Anti Valentine's Day makes me laugh!

All the above pictures are from the fab Photobucket.
You can also find free Anti Valentine's e-cards on Blue Mountain and on artist Dylan Edwards' site. He began designing Anti Valentine's Day cards a few years ago, when single and very bitter. He has added cards to his collection every year since and now still single, though less bitter, his designs have 'branched out a little from just raw anger.'
A further response to the commercialism and couple-centred emphasis of Valentine's Day is February the 15th's SAD, perhaps an unfortunate acronym for Singles Awareness Day!
To cut a long post short, I'll tell you about that tomorrow!
On Thursday, I'll do a lovey dovey post for all the real romantics out there, but meanwhile, there are some links on Student Mum for websites full of things to do with the kids on Valentine's Day.


Lane said...

Those cards really made me smile!
Couldn't agree more with the blatant consumerism of the day. The displays in the shops are enough to make you heave.

Mind you I'd never say no to chocolates:-)

Moondreamer said...

I'm glad they made you smile, Lane!

I think they're great, I really enjoyed writing this post.

(Although, I'm equally enjoying collecting stuff for more Pro-Valentine posts!)

And I agree about the consumerism ... and the chocolates!


aliqot said...

You also provided me with a useful link for someone on WD who was moaning about Valentine's cards makinghim sick - I hope he gets a small laugh out of these!

Moondreamer said...

Oh bless!

I know how he feels, I hope they make him smile.

(Thank you, Aliqot, I love feeling helpful!)