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The marketing machine

Last updated on January 30, 2023

I’m as much a part of the marketing machine as anyone, creating the messages that try to convince select niche markets that they absolutely, positively need to spend their money on a particular product or service. And yet, when presented with a holiday like Valentine’s Day — something that’s hyped from the youngest preschool classroom parties to special romantic getaways for the AARP crowd, and everything in between — I’m completely overwhelmed by the sheer saturation of it all.

We largely ignore the holiday, if you can call it that. I can’t remember the last time we braved the crowds for a V-day dinner, or even exchanged cards. But what I can tell you is that the best gifts don’t come from a store, and the best cards don’t come from Hallmark.

There is no better gift than a construction paper heart, held proudly by a beaming 5-year-old boy. “I made this for you!” he declared as he ran to me. “Do you like it?”

I love it. I couldn’t love anything more.

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