I vaguely remember those elementary school days when I carefully wandered from desk to desk, dropping off a customised Valentine’s Day card to each of my classmates.
Our teacher had sternly advised that we must have a card for each person, that it would be cruel to leave anyone out. This was completely fine by me; I loved nothing more than spending an entire day colouring and creating cards rather than focusing on other more important subjects. As far as I was concerned, I wanted to spend the entire week making the cards extra glittery and entirely individualised.
As an adult, I’ve realised, Valentine’s Day is much less about making thoughtful, crafty cards and celebrating love as it is about consumerism.
It makes me ill to see shops filled with roses shipped from far off countries, teddy bears holding a heart made in a sweatshop, or jewelry commercials of a glimmering, diamond necklace that costs way more than many people can ever afford.
To be clear, I am not against Valentine’s Day, what I am against is the idea of spending thousands of dollars on expensive gifts to “prove you love someone.” I feel the same with any holiday, Christmas is another great example of this.
Valentine’s day just brings consumerism to a whole new level of insanity simply because it’s obviously just an easy target from a marketing perspective. It’s a great a spike after Christmas to get the sales back up again. I just don’t believe that spending thousands of dollars on a necklace is a great way to show you love someone. To me, that shows poor financial skills and lack of creativity. Why not make a lovely dinner instead?
I do however think that Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to stop and truly appreciate that person you love. Literally stopping and smelling the roses. Of course, the argument is, “we don’t need a day to remind us of that!” well yeah, of course not. I also don’t need a day to remind me that I’m yet another year older, but it’s kind of nice to celebrate anyway, isn’t it?
In relationships it’s just the same, life gets in the way sometimes and we are busy and we fight, and sometimes we take them for granted. Then suddenly we’re sitting there, watching TV and that damn commercial comes on about the necklace but then you remember its Valentine’s day. So you say to yourself, ‘hey – I love my partner; I’m going to do something special for them or with them.‘ So maybe you splurge and buy them that expensive necklace (if it genuinely makes you happy) or maybe you spend the day with your person, truly appreciating them and how lucky you are to have met them. All it is is a day to celebrate love, that’s it.
So whether you’re taken or single, today does not deserve to be anything more than a perfect reminder to stop and smell those roses. Whether that means plucking one up and bringing it to someone you love or keeping it for yourself, it’s entirely up to you.
Happy Valentine’s Day.