You’ve undoubtedly heard about or even given a love coupon to your significant other or child should you have either one in your life. While not mandatory to be given on Valentine’s Day, it’s the day they usually get sent more than other time of the year. That’s because making quality time with people we care about is likely becoming a challenge of late as people work harder than ever to keep from going under in a volatile economy. Conversely, with people losing their jobs, there may be more time–even though time spent pounding the pavement looking for another job can take up more hours than an actual job. You also have the pain and depression of couples and families trying to find employment again that can put a damper on getting in a romantic mood or having time to talk with their children.
For couples, the promissory love coupons can range from an innocent romantic trip out of town or continent to naughty sexual promises. And when a love coupon is given to children (usually with a box of candy to keep the day from being nothing but promises), it’s generally a rain check to spend time doing something the child wants to do. While love coupons probably work best with couples in the anticipation of doing something exciting, the concept of giving love coupons to children might not arguably be the best trend for the day we celebrate love of all varieties.
Love coupons nevertheless are becoming a huge trend for kids on Valentine’s Day, just as much as for adults. At least having a promise in writing means it most likely will happen, unless something unforeseen happens. When dealing with love, though, is it better to create a Pavlovian response to what will happen later or is it better to make it happen as soon as possible? Yes, love coupons seem to delay the gratification of something we’re all naturally wired to want sooner rather than later.
Perhaps love coupons represent the age we live in then to a tee. With all the stress many deal with on a daily basis and so much uncertainty in everything we do, the feeling of assimilating love on a more profound level after repression is an answer straight out of Sigmund Freud’s casebook. Certainly within the realms of copulating, Coitus Interruptus has been used by many couples as a way toward more intense sexual gratification. Most couples would probably agree, if asked, that thinking about the prospect of doing the deed is more of an arousing feeling than plowing right in without a second to spare every single day.
But let’s keep in mind this is love coupons we’re talking about, not sex coupons, even though the two terms have intertwined for decades. In the realms of family, we also have a psychological problem in some parents of wanting to spend quality time with their kids at a later time in order to get a sense of more meaningfulness after earning their living for the day or week. Not that most parents wouldn’t give anything to be with their kids more often rather than going to work. There isn’t a doubt, though, that picking designated days to do activities with one’s kids brings a stronger sense of fulfillment to family life. Unless you’re a very close-knit family, even kids probably wouldn’t want to be with their parents every single day, despite any activity being of the fun or educational variety.
Despite that undeniable reality, what’s really wrong with acting on what we really want and provide an act of love sooner rather than later?
It seems that love coupons are starting to take the place of standard Valentine’s Day cards that used to provide an immediate sense of love and intention to do a little more after giving the card. Yet even the standard Hallmark Valentine’s Day cards are quasi promissory notes in that you’ll be buying something already written by a professional greeting card writer. Back in the Victorian Era, you could buy blank Valentine’s Day paper in different shades of romantic colors where a significant other would write his or her own romantic sentiments to the other significant other. Once creative writing seemed to go by the wayside in romance and other heartfelt feelings, we pretty much paved the road to love coupons.
Since love coupons are seemingly going to be a stronger fad in the future, it’s obvious that people are going to become more comfortable with setting love appointments, perhaps to tame the beast of immediate gratification. We may all have a tug-of-war between setting aside special moments to savor and perhaps getting into a trap of instant moments that can potentially be taken for granted. But when the worst possible scenarios happen in a collapsing economy, time just might become more valuable.
Realizing that time is short is one of the most emotional epiphanies one can have. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a sad event in a family’s life or in an individual to bring that into mind and start living your life in a way that reflects it. That means being unemployed or having serious health issues can start to make love coupons seem like needless borrowed time. I suspect more than a few families during this Valentine’s Day and ones after in similar circumstances above won’t wait on any form of love they can muster while making sure nothing else gets in the way.
Or, as with Yin and Yang, having a balance of the immediate and rain checks on love can provide a way to make any life richer. In the long run, acting on love coupons for love at a later date would actually help us make those epiphanies of time being short all the more powerful. When that happens, those moments of instantly jumping into an act with your significant other or taking time out right away to spend quality time with your children or other family members won’t be taken for granted.
Perhaps selling instantly redeemable love coupons for young and old would be a Hallmark store’s marketing dream…