Valentine’s day can be that much dreaded day of the year for some people, on both sides of the spectrum – in a relationship or not. And that’s because often, partners fret over the much dreaded impending day because after all, what is a suitable present to buy on a day that the card factories dreamed up? Whilst gaggles of single friends gather to hit a night on the town and “drown their sorrows” in tequila, celebrating yet another year alone, thanks for reminding me, they sigh, but at least I have my friends. After all, as Carrie said in the holy-mother of Scriptures, Sex and the City, (expect a lot of Carrie around Valentine’s day), “Maybe our girlfriend’s are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with.”
It’s the same cliche year after year after year, and since the age of sixteen I stopped ‘celebrating’ the ridiculous day altogether, even when I had boyfriends. So no, this isn’t a bitter bashing and envious regurgitation of spite to scoff at my loved up friends or exes. I don’t need flowers, a pandora necklace, or a poem in a card a thousand other #luckygirls are going to get today, because I don’t need material proof of validation that my boyfriend loves me. I don’t need to be taken out to a fancy restaurant, and the truth be told we eat out a lot anyway, (specifically TGI Friday’s just for the Times Square Big Share sharing appetiser…) And I’m sure most other couples do coupley things too all year round, so what’s the point of this day?
I often think of Valentine’s day as a sort of competition. Look at my boyfriend and what he bought me.. Look where we’re going.. Aren’t I a lucky girl.. Which is very well. Good, good for you. But I’ve often heard of many disappointments on the “special” day where women whine at not getting their specifically suggested present and the men moan about being out of pocket. Some couples even argue over things so trivial, which is completely besides the whole damn point.
Valentine’s day doesn’t mean anything except the emphasis we as human beings place on it. Having never celebrated it, I don’t ‘mourn’ in sadness on the times I’ve been single on this day. It’s just a day. And I think the people who press and go to town on it, are those who need reassurance from their partner. They are “owed” this day from past mistakes, a whole day, filled with their special someone is a special day. To me, it’s not a special day because I see my boyfriend a lot and we usually do things ‘special’ anyway. Even if we did celebrate Valentine’s day, it’d just be a normal day and night for us. So why put the pressure on? Your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband should be special to you every time you see them – not on a day that card factories wish to rake in the profit at your expense. It’s commercialised bullshit, do not fall for it.
I think I would like Valentine’s day if it was still about love. If it wasn’t about gift exchanging and forcing yourselves to make a “day of it” when you’d probably both rather sit at home and play video games – but about love.
If only we were in the romantic period where the likes of Wordsworth and Coleridge would put us to shame. They’d rustle about the bushes and lie in pensive shade, their brooding demeanour and melancholy sway about the breeze directs their gaze to a lilac tulip, my favourite shade and, ah! Smell its sweet and honey-suckle glade, and drunk on the haze come flouncing, floating above my door, and in merry spritely dance, whirl me about the manor halls and vast elegant gardens that backed onto summer meadows way into the night…
Now that would be a pretty nice day. But Valentine’s day now isn’t about love anymore. We don’t belong in that distant far away time where you can’t talk nor see one another regularly. Where surprises had to be arranged and marriage pre-determined on your future with a man you hardly know, yet you fell in love at first sight. Where men wrote you poems and women gave you their hands.
We live in a time of disposable dates and one night stands and hedonism that would make Rochester blush. It’s incredible we even find any romance left at all.
Yet some of us do, and every day is filled with “I love you’s” and little surprises. Surely the gesture is more romantic and sentimental when flowers are presented on a random day, “because I thought you’d like them”, (or a standing painted elephant candle holder) or a simple note rather than a panic buy £5 rip off at the local supermarket that’s bought on the journey to my house?
I have a cardboard box in my house filled with sentimental things – not just romantic things, but things from family and friends, too. And not one thing in that box contains anything to do with Valentine’s day, so leave the flowers to grow please and let’s have an ordinary day that’s just as filled with love as any other.