loveIf my husband really loves me, this Valentine's Day, I won't find any little jewelry boxes or over-wrought bouquets on my desk; I won't be offered prime rib and lobster for dinner. No, I'll know how much he loves me (and understands me) if I get nothing for Valentine's Day.

It helps that I run a personal finance weblog: I'd be foolhardy to trumpet my sweetheart's wasteful spending (maybe I could have him put it on Visa, and then we could refinance our home to add the diamond pendant or dozen red roses to our roof-over-the-head debt load!). I'm a firm believer in putting all our spending cash toward useful objects; I wouldn't turn down a book from my Amazon wishlist, or a coffee mug from a thrift store, or two pounds of my favorite local butter (so I can make my own chocolate torte, yum).

When it comes right down to it, gifts to one's significant other should be based on his or her value system; not on the loudest noise from the marketing juggernaut. Here's a hint: whatever is being promoted via television commercial or newspaper insert or 160x800 tower ad (sorry WalletPop advertisers), probably isn't the ideal gift to express true love. I've never been a fan of diamonds, especially since watching documentaries showing little girls and boys whose arms were cut off with machetes, all because of diamonds. Not to mention my suspicion that the world diamond trade is less than transparent. Roses? I'm working on eating food that's more local and seasonal; if I were to accept roses transported from Argentina, or Chile, or California, I'd feel the weight of the hypocrisy.

I've finally come to know that the price of the present has no relation to the depth of the love. All I want for Valentine's Day is an unspoiled bank account!

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