Sexuality Happens

The Ridiculousness of the Love Industry

Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and that I’m back in the scheme of things (which includes planning for our wedding/celebration of love this October), I have to say that I’m sick and tired of the Love Industry.

What, pray tell, is the Love Industry? It is the capitalism in our society has found that by making people (particularly women, but people in general) feel back about not being in a relationship, not being in a “serious enough” relationship, not having the “perfect wedding” etc, that they will then rush out to spend tons and tons of money on ridiculous things. The worse you make people feel about their relationships (or lack thereof) with others, the more money they will spend.

Look at Valentine’s Day — people spend so much time and energy trying to make sure they have a partner on Valentine’s Day, and then once/if they do, they spend all this money trying to impress their partner and “show their love” by buying outrageous gifts that may or may not even suit their partners tastes. Clearly, every woman in existence wants a diamond necklace, right? I sure as heck don’t.  And then, when people say things like “I don’t think Valentine’s Day is important — I think love should happen year round,” they’re then told that they are just being jealous, petty, wishing they had a partner (or a partner that did better things for them, bought more expensive things, etc) and so on.  And of course, I work in the industry that hops onto this bandwagon — Valentine’s Day is one of our biggest seasons (but at least a vibrator lasts a lot longer than a bouquet of flowers, and can be used together).

This year, I picked up some pre-made food from Whole Foods and we ate it, cause I wasn’t in the mood to cook. Then we watched TV we’d missed, and worked on our duo-presentation for the National Collegiate Leadership Conference. Oh, and drove to the post office to drop off our application for a residence in Denver. Why? Because it was a Monday, and that is what needed to happen that Monday. My best friend and her husband went to Qudoba for dinner, and he wound up buying her a 6-pack of blueberry beer. It had nothing to do with money — they just decided that THAT was what they wanted to do. And that is how it should be.

Don’t even get me started on the wedding industry. Other than the fact that they are totally not queer inclusive (which they need to work on, given all the states passing same-sex marriage and civil unions), but honestly, this industry is vile at times. I keep getting sent wedding magazines, bride magazines, nesting magazines, where the “budget” dresses are one thousand to three thousand bucks. A “budget wedding” apparently comes in between twenty and thirty thousand. a BUDGET WEDDING means keeping it under a grand in my mind. We’re capping ours at $5000, and that includes outfits, locations, food, flowers, DJ, cupcakes, pumpkins for decorating, etc. We’re doing a cheap wedding of sorts, the way we like it (whether or not a burgundy ball dress is traditional, whether or not a DJ with a Rainbow Mohawk is appropriate, etc). But clearly, so many people buy into this fantasy that they are selling, this concept that with out an expensive white dress and prince to sweep you away, that we are nothing. Why? What is it that says this is “right” thing, other than the companies trying to sell it to us in the first place?

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1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. lady brett February 18th, 2011 2:21 pm

    amen, sister.

    it’s funny, jamie and i were discussing this last night. i’ve been stressing recently about not being a terribly good girlfriend – she’s been sick a lot, and it’s not something i know how to help with very well. her response has been that it’s okay, because if she tells me what she needs i’ll do it. that’s when i realized what was bothering me; i’m not a particularly thoughtful person/girlfriend – it just doesn’t occur to me to do romantic/helpful things.

    she pointed out that it goes both ways – my not being thoughtful is probably directly related to the fact that i don’t over-think things or expect romantic things. like, it would never occur to me to read any meaning into a valentines day gift (or lack thereof) – past “ooh, a present!” (or, more accurately, “yeah, i kind of forgot it was valentines, too” ;)

    so, she said it’s a good trade-off =)

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