Zoning over some late night TV, I found myself simultaneously insulted and amused by an ad for the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. The ad is aimed at desperate, hapless men who are devoid of original Valentine’s Day gift ideas for their wives or girlfriends. Here’s the commercial, in case you haven’t seen it yet…

First of all, the ad is just lame. The sales pitch is weak, and as if that weren’t bad enough, they’ve cast this commercial with an assortment of buxom & buff adult-film star wannabes (’cuz that’s how everyone looks in your workplace, right?) and then given them about the same level of high quality dialogue we’ve all come to expect from the adult film genre.

You might think that I’m offended by the ad’s stupidity, but I actually think its badness borders on amusing. In the same pathetic way you can’t help watching a train wreck, this ad beckons you to watch, ridicule and mock for your own sick pleasure.

What actually insults me about the ad is the implication that women will be easily seduced into ripping off their tight-fitting, low cut “business” attire to perform sex acts on the nearest guy smart enough to have given them a stuffed teddy bear for Valentine’s Day. Seriously?  Do you think anything is that easy?  Are you the guys out there buying all those boxes of “Just for Men”?  


Let me be very clear to all you men out there – Teddy Bear ≠ Sex. Stuffed teddy bears do NOT get you laid. Here’s the thing: we don’t need or even expect originality in our gifts from you, although that can be very nice. What we need is for you to acknowledge our love on Valentine’s Day.  It can be a dramatic gesture or something very simple.  It’s the act of acknowledgment on a day when so many other men succumb to the pressures of the holiday – too overwhelmed to act. You see, we love thinking about you and talking about you as the guy who didn’t screw it up.  And, yes, we get that Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday invented to confound you and extort money from you and that the only reason you’d allow yourself to get that suckered is if you thought there was some tit for teddy at the end of the day.  But don’t get confused by crappy, contrived stuffed teddy bear commercials.  

Jewelry, flowers or candy are wonderful gifts and even a teddy bear may (though, I doubt it) get you laid. But when you’re talking about a good bang for your buck, there’s nothing like an old fashioned love note that says, “I love you and I’d be lost without you” to really make her swoon.  Let’s face it, admitting how clueless you are is much more likely to garner her affection, her devotion, and her patience the next time you really f**** it up by forgetting her birthday.

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