The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

October 12, 2013

‘Real men’ find Sweetest Day a bit sour for love sentiments

By Lynn Saternow

---- — There was a discussion in The Herald office this week about the so-called Sweetest Day which will be celebrated this year on Oct. 19. Some of the women asked me what I thought of it.

I was listed as a “typical man” when I said it was a joke and just something created by businesses so that guys would buy cards or candy or flowers for their girlfriends or wives (or both).

However, in truth, they didn’t think too much of it either.

My wife and I don’t celebrate it, which is surprising because “sweet” is a term that many people use to describe me and my disposition!

In actuality, my wife is one of the most terrific, wonderful persons I’ve ever met (just to put up with me), but I don’t know if any adult woman can — or wants to be — called sweet. Do they?

I call my 2-year-old granddaughter “Sweetie” sometimes, but I only call my wife “Honey.” OK, I guess honey is sweet too and I’ll be faced with a real problem if the Hallmark people will start a Honey Day.

When I read up on the subject of Sweetest Day I learned that the day was actually started in 1922 by a candymaker in Cleveland, Ohio.

That didn’t surprise me because not many good things have come out of Cleveland — especially sports teams. Consider a recent article that listed Cleveland as the worst sports city in the United States. (Talking about the teams, not the fans like me, who are still among some of the most die-hard team backers on the planet. “Die-hard” being a kind term for “masochistic”!)

I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day either, but it would have to be regarded as almost the status of Christmas or Thanksgiving as compared to Sweetest Day.

So on Oct. 19, if you are a real man, you won’t be getting anything for your loved one. I won’t either. Unless, of course, my wife reads this column and says she likes Sweetest Day. Then I’ll say I was just kidding and being called a real man isn’t that important anyhow.

• Once again during the government shutdown, we are seeing a need for more major political parties. When you only have two real parties and they are locked in angry stalemates, the whole country suffers.

And regardless of whether you blame the Republicans, as 63 percent of the people do in the latest poll, or the Democrats or the Democratic president, we need a better way to operate.

We often hear, “Hey, remember this in the next election.” But too many people vote straight party and will re-elect the same idiot they may not have agreed with in the first place. And many of the same people who are complaining about how they are affected by the shutdown won’t even vote.

If we had four or five different parties, as in England, at least we would see a better operation of the government, I would think.

It certainly couldn’t hurt considering the bickering the last couple of decades in the United States government.

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for the Opinion Page. He can be reached at