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Monday, February 13, 2006

V-Day: Victory for Women

[The following is an edited re-posting from last February, 2005. But it is as true today as it was then. Hope you enjoy.]

I have heard it said Valentine's Day is another scheme of the "Greeting Card Companies" to make money.

Well, of course it is a scheme--

But come on, men . . .

This has nothing to do with the Greeting Card Companies, it goes much higher than that.

Valentine's Day was devised by the WOMEN of the world-- who otherwise secretly rule with an iron fist-- to be a sort of fantastic and underhanded "coup de grace."

"Coup de Grace": (1) A deathblow delivered to end the misery of a mortally wounded victim. (2) A finishing stroke or decisive event.

There exists between every man and woman in their relationship a covert war-- a Battle of the Sexes. And, at some point in time during the course of this battle, the man will have to concede a devastating preliminary defeat.

(I say "preliminary" because the signing of the armistice occurs on your wedding day. The battles left to be fought from that day forward are carried on by ill-content, renegade generals armed with little more than some nasty words and a few late nights that will prolong your misery for another two years beyond the fateful day before they finally wear out and slowly fade away.)

As for this preliminary defeat that signals the end, however -- this momentous event usually happens to occur on the Ides of February, otherwise known as Valentine's Day.

Sure, there have been those brave men of history who -- like Shakespeare's King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt-- have daringly mounted one final attack.

"Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more, or we close up the wall with our English dead. In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage . . ."

Yes, like King Henry, there have been those heroes. But they are our heroes in their defeat. We admire them for their resolve, not for their victory. . .

There is no more dangerous time to assert your "independence" or your "masculinity" than on this day. You will lose the battle . . . you risk losing the war.

For the fairer sex-- even while comforting you with a pretty smile and a soft testimony: "I didn't need anything anyways"-- the fairer sex will win. They are dangerous in their ability to harbor resentment and calculating in their ability to force submission.

Though you may brag that you saved $70 on flowers and candy now . . . It will cost you much more later because eventually, I promise . . .

You will lose the battle . . . you risk losing the war.

Valentine's Day has nothing to do with men. It is symbolized by hearts and flowers, diamonds and chocolates, balloons and big stuffed bears. If we were intended to play any significant part in this Holiday, Sears, Lowes, and Home Depot would be advertising "Valentine's Day Specials" on Craftsman skill saws and cordless drills.

As I stood in line at Spencer's Gifts yesterday, the guy that rang me up-- he knew. "Getting ready for Valentine's Day?" He asked sympathetically. "Yeah." I whispered in defeat.

Our part has been relegated to the position of the vanquished. We are to buy the gifts-- perhaps to receive a card in return-- and silently pray that she is happy.

It is always and entirely about her. Harbor no illusions otherwise.

My wife, it is so cute, plays ignorant in the matter. She pretends that buying me a gift has something to do with my enjoyment of the day. But she knows, and I know, that my happiness is predicated on her smile and her pronouncement that, for just one day, I am the "most romantic guy in the world."

And the day will end . . . and even though I have been beaten and bruised by this Battle of the Sexes, at the end of the day I will drift to sleep thinking-- though I was forced to leave my comfort zone, am all but broke and truly resent the $70 left wilting on the kitchen counter-- I will lay in bed and feel as if I actually, truly WON.

But that, THAT is how they fool you . . .

Hmm . . . Aren't women great?


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