I don’t often listen to radio or streaming because of the ad breaks
[I like my music long and unbroken – there’s a smutty innuendo in there somewhere]
however since the girls have got big enough to sit in the front seat of the car, I find my masterful control of the sonic landscape subverted at the most inconvenient times
“Buttons, Daddy, I like pressing buttons!”
So it was that I climbed in ye olde jalopy yesterday
[yes, that WAS a combination of medieval English and down-home American]
and was treated to an unwelcome dose of advertising. As I navigated the car park, I let the ads play and suddenly found myself confronted by a puzzling existential challenge.
We’re a few days off the marketing-frenzy known as Valentine’s Day, when millions of people buy meaningless
tat for the person, because they’re told this is the day to do it, because spending money is obviosuly an act of love, because it’ll totally restore all faith that they truly, madly, deeply love their significant other.
“Look! It’s a candy elephant holding a love-heart! And I didn’t even secretly nibble the candy!”
Ah well, each to their own.
But here’s where this particular ad caught me. It was from a local florist, offering a Valentine’s Day All Year package. Wherein, for a small subscription fee and regular payment, your significant other receives a bouquet of flowers the 14th of every month. Delivered direct.
I was aghast.
“It’s like putting love on auto-renew!”
I seethed as I navigated the parking lot. The notion that an automatic transaction between credit card company and florist, delivers a token to my significant other without my having to be involved, or even remember it’s happening…
“Look! Even though I’ve reinforced that I’m completely ignoring you, see how I love you!”
Immediately, my brain started that thing it does when I meet a question
[the voices! Oh, the voices!]
arguing point and counter-point, trying to work out what this means to me; my opinion of it. Trying, trying, trying to see both sides.
In truth, I’m still wrestling with it, even though my gut is SCREAMING
“It’s a bad thing!”
The best I can get to is, like everything, if this offer is taken up by someone who will confer meaning on those flowers every month, moving it from automated transaction – i.e. if there is a pattern of love and care that is reinforced by those flowers – then I guess it’s harmless
[and maybe even beneficial]
at least the significant other gets 12 bouquets of flowers, even if they’re not chosen directly by the supposed lover.
Like I say, it’s the best I can get to.
Because the advert was playing on the
“Never forget to say I love you”
meme a little too much, selling to the person who is too busy
to get to the florist, to buy the thing that tells someone else that they love them, rather than just saying
“I love you”
It really was that base of a sell, and that’s what got me hooked. There’s so much wrong with the notion of putting love on auto-renew, in effect distancing oneself even further from the gift of love
it just gives me chills.
Of course, the florist is just offering a service it perceives could be profitable – who knows whether it will be or not.
All I know is that, as someone who is already pretty insulted to be told by marketing that I must symbolically demonstrate my love
[which I feel and act upon every day]
on one particular day of the year, putting my love on auto-renew is the very LAST thing I’d consider doing. Ugh!