World's day of love hijacked

Last updated 10:08 14/02/2013
Pat Veltkamp Smith
JOHN HAWKINS/FAIRFAX NZ
Columnist Pat Veltkamp Smith was Southland Times women's editor until 1997 and is a former president of the Southland Justices of the Peace Association.

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OPINION: Through the turmoil of Waitangi Day last week, now we are on to Valentine's Day - today, writes Pat Veltkamp Smith in And Another Thing.

Just what the revered saint would think about condom companies hijacking his patronal day we can only guess.

But my guess is he'd be like me and doubtless many others and think it more than a bit off.

There's a terrible persistence about clever advertising.

The guy who first dreamt up "diamonds are forever" has been proven wrong countless times but still the slogan says somehow that a diamond will guarantee eternal happiness.

So the nauseating "love sex" Durex chant suggests that all three things are rated equal, are interchangeable, and mean the same. And that's so not true.

These chants are commercial, designed to move stuff along, by people who want your money not you. It is somewhat sad to see romantic love so sent up.

But Valentine's Day is the first of the card and cake days on our calendar, preceding Mother's Day in May, Father's Day in September and a day for everyone in December, Christmas curiously being a great leveller.

Valentine's Day says roses and perfume, chocolates and cupcakes.

It is all a fairly new thing, growing I guess.

But it must be 10 years ago we watched colleague Kirsty unwrap her lunch and we saw on that Valentine's Day her David had cut heart-shaped sandwiches, packed ginger kisses, a chocolate heart and a perfect peach.

Said it all: and I've yet to see it done better, never done it better myself.

Love is such an intangible thing but recognising it, rewarding it, that's the trick . . . and it takes more than a dutiful thank you.

It calls for energy, imagination - passion if you like and, funnily enough, that can be with a fancy cupcake with a heart on top.

Best avoid shaky early morning trays of hot coffee and outrageously expensive gifts that may arouse suspicion.

I don't know. Maybe cut the grass, clean the car, wash the windows - and if you are still up to it, go out - together.

Better yet, stay in - together.

Happy Valentine's Day.

We count ourselves lucky to share it.

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