Sunday, February 19, 2012

I See... Twas the Night Before Valentine's Day

What Actually Happened

It was the night before Valentine's Day, about 8:30 p.m., and I'm standing in front of a sad-looking display of proforma greeting cards at the local supermarket, right next to the half-price meat counter. I'm not the only one; there six or seven other desperate men with me, and we are all staring intently at a pitiful selection of cards awash in various hues of pink and red. We immediately notice that all the card slots labeled “to wife” are empty, while the “to husband” locations are bursting forth with cards; perhaps that is why sooo many last-minute men are trapped with a puzzled look in front of the display?

What the World Sees

Men are just not that romantic, so they don't think about Valentine's Day that much until the day before. Cards provide the most cost-effective sentiment-for-the-buck. Men are cheap, so much cheaper than the local female supermarket manager could ever imagine when she ordered goods for this holiday, so men have been assaulting the card isle in packs all day long and very quickly exhausted the inexpensive, puny supply. Meanwhile, their women have spent Valentine's Day pondering deep in thought over the long list of romantic acts they can only dream of receiving from their husbands; they have no time to run to the store for cards they know they will find crumpled in the trash the day after Valentine's Day.

What the Mormon Third Eye Sees

Putting bread on the kitchen table has been rough for fathers in this tough economy; more and more of them are working second jobs or longer hours at their first job just in order to keep it. Not only time, but finances too have been tight, so the best they can do is make a late-night run to the local supermarket and pick an inexpensive yet meaningful card for their wives. They are disappointed, but not surprised to meet so many other men in the same boat standing in front of the card racks. Their wives have spent all day, between working on the invoices for their home business and arguing with the insurance company about outrageously high double-billed medical expenses, making their husbands' favorite heart-shaped triple chocolate cake. These women carefully calculate the tradeoff in time and know than after a long day's work, their husbands would truly appreciate much more a cake made with love than a card made with paper. Hence, the bulk of the cards in the “to husband” display go unsold.

Spend a moment in your mind's eye and view the same scenario unfolding next to the half-price counter in your local supermarket the night before Valentine's day. What do you see?

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