I understand that when posed with the subject of Valentine’s Day, it evokes grunts, moans, squeals and cries across the country, out of misery or elation. These sometimes coincide with our relationship status, and other times with our bank balance following our Christmas-present spending and our destroying the January sales. As twee as this holiday is, I have some qualms with the overall demeanour of Valentine’s Day.
People who say they hate it confuse me. Whilst this is not a fault of the day itself, it is a consequence of society’s construction of the event that has created such strongly spiteful view of the whole charade. The reasons for this hatred are plenty, from the disagreement with its consumer-driven mockery to the bad portrayal of love it gives (i.e. give gifts, get love?) Anyway, these people who go so far as to broadcast to the entire world ‘I HATE VALENTINES DAY’ and spend weeks before getting more and more irate, just irritate me. You don’t see people going around shouting ‘I HATE CHRISTMAS’, ‘I HATE BIRTHDAYS’ to the same extent, or at least if they do, they do so quieter. Because, essentially, it brings the people who enjoy it down, and makes you look like a miserable sod who can’t stand people having an extra excuse to be happy.
AND, I doubt you really do ‘hate’ it anyway. Those in a relationship (especially men) probably hate the fact you have to spend money, or that you feel you must do something extravagant to prove your love on a day which is essentially meaningless. Taken women usually hate it because their man doesn’t put much effort in, or they agree with their partner not to do anything for it, which will probably still irritate them as, let’s be honest, who would say no to a romantic dinner and an undying silk rose? Perhaps most prominently, any single people probably hate the fact that they don’t have anyone to share it with; you may find them keeping schtum in those Februarys when they are being taken out for a meal and getting a soppy love letter which they will keep in the lining of their jewellery box for years…
ANYWAY. Regardless of whether you are in a relationship or not, do we really need another holiday to exchange gifts? I mean, seriously? Birthdays and Christmas, and Anniversaries if you are into that, are enough for me. Admittedly, I am partial to extravagant presents (see previous articles…) and the threat of not living up to my previous gifts is large. Money aside, I can’t see any man wholly appreciating a handmade heart-covered iPhone sock, a perfectly crafted card with glittery sequins all over, or a collage of all photos you have ever had together. Supermarkets and gift stores manipulate couples into buying a load of tut which either has no use or next to no aesthetic quality, and we are supposed to be happy to receive it? Per-lease. Take me to Meat Liquor in London for a hearty burger and cocktails in a beer glass and you’ve practically won my entire body, let alone just my heart.