Can’t Buy Me Love (Valentine for Van)

Van and I just had a fight.  I’ve been repeatedly asking her what she wants for her birthday, which is right after Valentine’s Day.  I thought I was being nice; after all, doesn’t everyone want to open a present on their birthday?  But Van is angry at me for pressuring her for a “wish list” when she’s told me over and over again that material things don’t matter to her.

The truth is I don’t feel comfortable not buying her a gift.  Van loves it when I give her experience gifts instead of objects, so that’s something I’ve been doing more.  But this year I felt like I didn’t have the time or energy to put together a more creative, experiential birthday present for her.  I’m ashamed to admit this but I just wanted to buy something and be done.  How could I have forgotten that the best way of saying “I love you” is not with a credit card?  This shows just how successful the ideology of consumerism is in our culture.  I know that expressing love through “stuff” only serves the interests of global capitalism–and yet, here I am, desperately trying to commodify my love.

I adore Van and truly cannot imagine my life without her in it.  This post is my Valentine for her.  I’m so sorry, honey.  I love you more than objects can convey and words can say.  Thank you for 19 wonderful years.  xoxo

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