A week ago I wrote a poem of the same name. Today I am going to enter into more detail about how I feel about Valentine’s Day. Part-waffle, part-lecture, there is something of a point to what I write, so please try and bear with it to the end.
It is, to me and many others, the single least romantic day of the year. Those in relationships are very much pressured now into splashing out on gifts, expensive meals or holidays in a bid to show their partner(s) just how much they care. Which makes every single gesture made on February 14th or the few days either side (if made due to it being Valentine’s Day) completely hollow and meaningless. Because if you really care about somebody and want to give them chocolates or flowers, or treat them to a slap-up dinner, or whisk them away to some tropical paradise, then you would do it any time of the year. Not just in the middle of February.
Also, if you get upset because your partner(s) didn’t give you something nice, or take you out to a restaurant, or book a ski and spa weekend in the Alps, get a grip. Did they love and respect you over the course of the relationship so far? If yes, not making a big deal over a commercialised Christian celebration is hardly cause for concern. If they haven’t treated you as they probably should have, however, that should already have set alarm bells ringing that can’t be silenced by a rose bouquet and dinner in Paris.
I’m actually going to dumb it down even more. This year Valentine’s Day falls the day after Shrove Tuesday, the day more commonly referred to (by non-Christians, at least) as Pancake Day. As the name suggests, people typically eat pancakes on this day. And for some of these people it will be the only day of the year they eat pancakes. Why? If you like pancakes, eat them whenever you want. They aren’t reserved for one set day of the year.
Similarly, turkey is not only eaten on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. Hell, eat mince pies and Christmas Pudding in the middle of August if you want. It doesn’t matter.
The point is, showing somebody you care about that you care about them is something you should be doing every day. Or at least as often as you feasibly can. And not with gifts or expensive meals or mini-breaks. Words are the most powerful tool we have; we need make far better use of them. Generic gifts hold little to no value.
I propose the following:
This year, on February 14th, instead of treating your beloved(s) the way you should be treating them the other 364 days of the year, treat somebody else that way instead. Take a day off from that feud with your co-worker, tell your parents you love them, give the bus driver a rose or a card, buy my book, make an effort to talk to somebody who just needs to be treated like a human being for once. Make someone else’s day that little bit better. Because it will make you feel better too, and maybe that one day will become a week or a month or a year, or a lifetime.
Or ignore my ramblings and enjoy your overpriced steak, or the flowers that’ll be dead within a week.
For the benefit of some:
- The suggestion of purchasing my book was included somewhat cynically, and was in no way an attempt to commercialise this post attacking the commercialisation of festivals, holidays and traditions.
- I have no gripe with those who celebrate Valentine’s Day in ways that require the thought, care and commitment that should be seen throughout the duration of a relationship. Hollow gestures such as the buying of generic gifts or doing something just because it’s Valentine’s Day is the part I don’t like.
- Being of no faith or religion, I personally celebrate no festival or holiday the basis of which lies in faith or religion. The one exception is Christmas, due to my family being Christian and wishing for me to be a part of it.