Be romantic, not over the top

With Valentine’s Day nearly upon us, love is in the air – or at least marketers want us to think so. And not everyone is satisfied with the average teddy bear, box of chocolates or display of affection. Some people like to take it to the extreme, ranging from a publicized marriage proposal to attempted murder.As an aspiring psychologist, I’d like to offer a humorous psychoanalysis of the crazed lovers to soothe those who may feel scorned by St. Valentine and to ground those who will be spending the day on cloud nine.

Let’s start with the crazy and then move forward to the insane, with a pit-stop at ridiculous in between.

Rand Fishkin, of a still anonymous location, began an attempt in September 2006 to raise money to propose to his girlfriend, Geraldine DeRuiter, on a Super Bowl commercial. He nearly secured a spot on a commercial for an unnamed corporation, but CBS and the corporation pulled out at the last minute. A locally made ad ended up airing on an episode of Veronica Mars on Feb. 7. She said “Yes.”

Psychoanalysis: This man is clearly worried his girlfriend may not say yes so he has decided to put her on the spot and increase the pressure from a normal marriage proposal to that of Super Bowl magnitude. He is suffering from JumboTron syndrome, a condition in which men are disillusioned into believing women actually think sports are romantic. Sorry boys, no matter what she claims, being caught on a big screen with your hair pulled back in a baseball cap and your mouth stuffed with peanuts is not an optimal time for a romantic gesture.

Now let’s move to the motherland – that’s right Great Britain. BBC News online reported that grocery conglomerate ASDA, part of the Wal-Mart family, is planning to host Singles Nights during the week of Valentine’s Day, since the grocery market is reportedly the next trend in meeting available daters. The evening begins with cars parked in alternate boy/girl spaces. In the store, singles will shop around to “Our Tunes” and stop at “Love Spots” marked by balloons. Any items they pick up are checked out via the “Singles Only” lane and shoppers even have a chance to declare new found love on the store’s PA system.

Psychoanalysis: Singles attending this function are looking for a healthy dose of light-hearted fun. Reminiscent of a high-school theme party, this seemingly juvenile practice may perk up the spirits of the mature and lonely. It’s the silly ideas that usually turn out to be the most fun, so they seem destined for success. But, if it doesn’t work out, patients have easy access at the pharmacy to the anti-depressants all singles crave on Valentine’s Day.

Insane Asylum Convict of the Week goes to NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, who was charged with the attempted murder of Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman after following and attacking her. Nowak was jealous of Shipman because she was dating a man Nowak had strong feelings for. In Nowak’s words, what she and the man had was “more than a working relationship and less than a romantic relationship.”

Among other items belonging to Nowak, police found a BB pistol, detailed maps in order to follow Shipman, a trench coat, steel mallet, folding knife, rubber tubing and several large plastic garbage bags.

Psychoanalysis: If those items don’t say “crazed killer,” then I don’t know what does. What Nowak did was a prime example of the extremely stupid things people do when “they’re in love.”

I can’t fathom tracking another woman for two months, following her to her home and wearing diapers so I don’t have to make any bathroom stops – all for a man whom I don’t have a relationship with. How much more in denial can she be? Psychology 101: Admitting it is the first step.

Now that I’ve given you the diagnoses of the top three crazies for this Valentine season, I leave you with this prescription: Though we may not be able to control our rational thought when so deeply in love, try to keep the ridiculous romantic gestures to a minimum and leave the extreme stunts to the experts.

Anahita Kalianivala is a freshman English and psychology major from Fort Worth. Her column appears on Tuesdays.