For some reason, the first thing that pops in to my mind whenever I think of Valentine’s Day is that Simpsons episode where Ralph is the only kid who doesn’t receive a card from his classmates. So in an act of kindness, Lisa writes him one. “You choo, choo, choose me?” My heart melts whenever I think of his tragic little yellow face glowing with validation.
It’s a perfect example of how we’re taught from such a young age to invest an enormous amount of our emotions in to what is no more than a hollow consumerist holiday. Yes I said it.
Not only that, but we also willingly throw our hard-earned money at it! Which is great if you’re Clintons or Thorntons or any other corporation that feeds from this multi-million pound industry, but it’s just plain silly if you’re the average man/woman. Dude, save your coins for my birthday instead. 😛
I’d say that my biggest bugbear with Valentine’s Day is the way that it always comes with this pressure to have plans. We’re brainwashed into thinking that we need to be spending the evening doing something exciting with someone, scratch that, ANYONE! And it has to be so exciting that we’re able to turn it into a gripping story that takes at least 15 minutes to relay to all of our friends, family and work colleagues the next day.
That’s why ridiculous terms like ‘Galentine’s Day’ have cropped up; we’re deemed social outcasts if heaven forbid, we decide to treat February 14th as a regular day and spend it doing absolutely nothing. Valentine’s Day has become an exclusive members only club. If you’re single and not in the mood to mingle: YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US.
Hands down, the workplace can be one of the most unbearable places to be on Valentine’s Day. I clearly remember an instance when my colleague’s partner, (whom I’d heard nothing but incessant complaints about since I’d joined the company) opted to send a big bouquet of roses to our office. And then lo and behold, suddenly he magically transformed into the perfect boyfriend! She then proceeded to go around the room quizzing everyone else on what their boyfriends had done for them. Yep.
Such behaviour is the norm though, especially since social media has become such a paramount part of our lives: we’re now more interested in impressing our entire bank of Instagram and Twitter followers, than our actual partners! In such cases, are we really treating Valentine’s Day as a day for love, or are we simply using it to fuel our egos?
Here’s a much needed public service announcement: if your effort level in your relationship is a 10 on Valentine’s Day but a 2/3 on every other day of the year, whatever you do on Valentine’s Day will be null and void my friend, no matter how big you go. #SorryNotSorry
Now I also appreciate that it’s a completely different ball game when you have kids or if you’ve have been going through some tough times. In such cases, Valentine’s Day can actually be a helpful nudge back in the right direction, amidst all the chaos, to reconnect with your partner. An excuse to forget all the stresses that have been bogging you down, to take a step back and have a much needed date night. In those instances, I wholeheartedly encourage the celebration of Valentine’s Day, because it’s coming from a place of love!
The way I see it, if we are really so hell-bent on celebrating Valentine’s Day, let’s only do so in a genuine, truly love-filled way, without any ulterior motives. But I still think that regardless of anything, whatever you choose to do should be kept between yourselves; let’s face it, no one actually cares what you get up to anyway. Spare me that 15-minutes-long story that I’m already dreading to hear on February 15th!
When all is said and done, do I sound like a hater? Most likely. But the real question is, is it really ‘Valentine’s Day’ or is it merely February 14th? That one, dear reader, is up to you to decide.