Ramblings: Just Another Day

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-waffke, 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 muddle 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.
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17 Comments

  1. I think there is a difference between traditions and the commercialization of traditions. Holiday and holy are words that are related. Traditions through the year celebrate the changing of the seasons and the seasons of our lives. My parents received a windup toy their first Christmas as a couple: and then continued that tradition each year. We changed it a little, so that there was a yearly “silly toy” for the family. We made Valentine’s by hand when I was little, red paper and glue and sequins and doilies. I think that often people are not very good at discussing traditions and make assumptions…..

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      1. …you suggest buying your book… which I think is a little ironic…. what would you write about holidays or traditions that you do value?

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        1. In what way is it ironic? I am not commercialising any holidays with my poetry, and the point of the post is saying to do something nice for somebody. And people buying my book certainly makes me feel better. I’m also a cynic and put that in there with tongue somewhat in cheek.
          As for holidays and traditions I value, there are none. As I follow no religion or faith I don’t celebrate religious festivals. The only one I partake in at all is Christmas, as my family is Christian and they prefer me to be a part of it.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. The over commercialization generally means you can’t take two steps before you are inundated with everything Valentines. The corner pharmacy, grocery etc are all selling it. Agreed it becomes over the top silly maybe even like being bombarded in a heart war zone. Still I did enjoy crafting cut out heart and glittery valentines cards with my son when he was smaller and those chocolates in heart shaped boxes are really only cute on valentines day. So maybe I will sit on the fence. All the other things you mentioned like pancakes, that’s weekend food isn’t it? I like your suggestions about spreading some kindness and not just focus on the love aspect, the world could use more of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crafting your own cards and making them truly personal is a great thing to do, because there’s clear thought and care gone into it. I probably wasn’t overly clear with just what it is I have a gripe with. It’s the hollowness of the generic gifts and such that get to me.
      But again, the thought and care that goes into crafting a Valentine’s card is the same thought and care that should be shown every day.

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      1. I remember when I was little my dad brought home a heart shaped box of chocolates and my mom gave him a hard time. Back then I thought my mom was unappreciative but now I know it is more complicated than that,… as you have eluded. Expectations play a large part in the mysteries of the human heart;-)

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  3. This is a superb post. I agree with most – probably all – that you say, but I’d like to add that one of the worst crimes of commercialism is the waste of energy; all the plastic and packaging designed to make things look pretty, all those unwanted gifts that end up in the trash can or a charity shop. I live in the UK, and we have countless charity shops. I work in one of them, and we get all sorts of stuff donated to us – which is great, except that much of it doesn’t sell, and a lot of goods which can’t be recycled get binned.
    Then there’s the wasted food at Christmas time, and the production of millions of Christmas crackers filled with stupid bits of plastic and metal for toddlers to choke on, children to discard, or adults to tuck away and never use.
    I have eight Christmas puddings – given to me by those who bought too many and don’t realise there’s no law against eating them at other times of the year. Also, after Christmas, the stores sell off all their packs of pressure-wrapped chestnuts cheap. I enjoy chestnuts more than almost any other food, so some of those traditions work for me.
    I’m getting off my soap-box now…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚
      Yeah, our country is awful for wastage. Especially food. And Christmas is obscene.
      Every year my mum makes mince pies. They get put in the freezer for about ten months, after which they get eaten in order to create space for the next batch.

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      1. At least those mince pies get eaten… I know a guy who freezes excess veg that his pet poor people grow (he calls the place a commune, but he’s just lord of the manor), and chucks it out ready for the next lot. He stores apples and onions in his bedroom so his pet poor people who grew them can’t eat them, and most of them are left to rot. His name is Hector Christie and he’s not an eco-warrior like it probably says on Google, he’s a publicity whore.
        It appears that I’m feeling nasty today πŸ™‚

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