Ah, Valentine’s Day. The holiday equivalent to politics, everyone has an opinion.
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. We were sternly advised that it was mean to leave anyone out, each person deserved a card. 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.
Nowadays Valentine’s Day means very little to me. I see the day more as a tool for billion dollar companies to rake in even more billions with cheap labour from poorer countries that have no health regulations. I see it as a day for commercials to run campaigns that drive you to “buy, buy buy” making couples feel obligated to show their love for each other by spending money on over priced gifts and fancy dinners, leaving the singles feeling extra lonely. I find it irritating seeing shops filled with heart shapes boxes of chocolates, flowers and teddy bears holding a heart that says “will you be my Valentine?” Or jewellery commercials displaying a glimmering, diamond necklace while a man with a smooth, deep voice utters softly, “what better way to show your girlfriend you care than blowing your entirely life savings on a diamond necklace that people were slaughtered in the process of making?”
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 an easy-breezy 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 me. To me that shows blatant stupidity and poor financial skills and now I’m worried about our future together. 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 (hopefully not) 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.