On my way to a necessary cup of coffee this morning, a man dashed across my path and vanished into the local florist. A few minutes later, he emerged with sweat dripping from his hairline, a soggy receipt (which he dumped in the public bin), and a small bouquet of red roses tucked into the crook of his arm. They looked a little limp and traumatized, but nonetheless, they would serve their purpose. On Valentine’s Day, it really is the thought that counts. He could deliver his beloved a handful of petals and the remains of the paper wrapping, and she’d probably still accept the offering.
This bloke followed the social cues required of male partners (or prospective ones) to locate something red, heart-shaped, or bear-like as an offering to the gods of romance. Like Bower Birds hopping around the undergrowth, Australian men dutifully oblige, hunting out red roses in every corner of the city.
We can sit here and argue about the commercialization of love for as long as you like, but the boys who leave their girlfriends and wives sitting in the office without a box of chocolates or spray of red roses will suffer for the error later.
Valentine’s Day treats – especially the floral kind – are a public declaration to signal that a person is loved. Tacky or not, these quirks of civilization do more good than harm.
Read more at spectator.com.au