Ever since I returned back to the United States, the thing that has been the most apparent to me is that this country's stores are the champions at premature marketing. The themed products are seen at the "wrong" time of the year, be it hocking Christmas decorations in October or, more recently, pink heart-shaped boxes of chocolate reminding of my current state of singlehood since January first.
(Just to be clear: I've been single since December, not January first.)
This is a stark contrast from what I have observed in France, meaning the French are quite normal and make an effort to limit each festivity within their designated months, and I must admit that I quite prefer the French way of commercialism; it's less annoying.
If I see one more sappy "Every Kiss Begins with Kay" jewelry ad showing a pair of actors emulating a happy, much-in-love couple, I'm gonna go ballistic on my TV, and I can't afford a new TV set these days.
Bitterness aside, I found myself on a trip to Target this past Saturday and I couldn't resist walking by the aisles (plural) that were dedicated to selling Valentine's Day trinkets. I saw the run-of-the-mill products: boxes of chocolates, stuffed animals, bags of chocolates, bottles of wine and champagne, bars of chocolate, candles, candies, party favors, paper plates, pencils, Valentine cards that elementary school kids pass out to their classmates bearing famous cartoon characters, and chocolate roses.
However, there was one item that caught me off guard and essentially touched me on levels that were wrong.
My friends, this year, why don't you say "I love you" to your significant other with a black heart sporting a bedazzled Darth Vader?
This is worth repeating: a black heart sporting a bedazzled Darth Vader.
Barb the French Bean