Every year in North America, on February 13th, an annual ritual unfolds…
one that sees large lines of feverish and frenzied men magically materialize in public spaces.
Lined up to be the first to get their hands on the newest video game?
purchase the latest smartphone?
for the urinal at a rock concert??
Naww, I’m talking about the frantic and panicked line of men which gathers once a year outside a chocolatier, jewelry or floral store the day before Valentine’s Day.
For it is ‘The Customary Day of the Ritual of the Annually Planned Last-Minute Rush Valentine’s Day Purchase’
Ah yes, the Ritual of February 13th. That time of year when men who love men, or men who love women, will race in a anxiety-riddled bee-line to purchase a 11th hour trinket, plucked plants or sugar-coated items to show that Special Someone how much they really matter to them.
In truth, their partner and their relationship DOES matter to them…ok, not all, but to most. Have you ever tried that exercise where you make a One-to-Ten list of what matters most in your life? Who and What you truly care about. After that, you then make a One-to-Ten list of the things you give priority to during the day or week. Usually, you will realize the one list, is in fact the other list in reverse.
What matters most to us gets neglected sometimes…for some men this is their Ritual. This ritual results in The Ritual of the February 13th. A frenzy that can spill into February 14th causing for numerous en route retails stops before heading home or meet one’s partner.
On Valentine’s Day another custom comes to the surface amongst some men: the ‘Custom of Avoiding the Issue’.
Think of those men who are
…in relationships where they are not present.
…strategically determining which valentine to secretly spend the day or night with.
…drowning in a fear of not knowing how to behave, act or be in order to ‘find a valentine’.
…who are an island to their partner or loved ones.
…so caught up in life, that they are missing out on their Actual Life.
…who remember to remember their partner only when rituals force them to.
Whether you celebrate or agree with Valentine’s Day (named after a priest who secretly married couples who were denied their right to a wedding by Roman laws when the man refused to fight in the war), it is not an event strictly for women, it is also about men.
For some, it can be the barometer and measure of a man’s relationship with their relationship. It is a day where some Men choose to avoid facing a real deep truth about their life and their relationship. Relationship with their partner. Relationship with themselves.
Take February 13th to think about the type of lover, partner or person you hope to be with. Think about how you can be a better lover, partner, friend, brother, husband, co-worker, father, room-mate fellow student, father figure or male-identified person in the lives of women and girls you know, and those you don’t know.
Click here for a list of Feb 14th Women’s Memorial Marches for missing & murdered Indigenous women across Canada
The folks at Ride for A Dream have a small message you can download and print off to give.