The supermarkets have stacked up their heart-shaped boxes and bottles of pink bubbly. Hell, even the Post Office have stocked up on fancy cards. It’s that time of the year again when Zac Efron appears on billboards while restaurants and florists are rubbing their hands in unadulterated glee. Yup. Valentine’s Day.
Unless you work in a business that directly profits from the 14th of February then chances are you are dreading it. No-one ever seems to win so who needs it anyway?
Boyfriends are hoping that the dozen roses they have organised to be delivered at great expense to their girlfriend’s office is significantly large enough to impress. Incidentally, the girlfriend is hoping that whatever the boyfriend has had delivered is going to be 1. More impressive than last year and 2. More impressive than every other delivery in the office. Anything falling below those standards and they might as well not bother.
Then there is the poor girl that merely expects a single rose then glumly sits at her desk come 3.45pm when it is obvious that nothing is forthcoming.
That’s the expectation of Valentine’s Day and the pitfalls that come with it. For decades it has been the norm that couples buy each other gifts to show that ‘You’re the only one for me, baby’. Hang on. Why do you need to go to a shop and find something to say that? It’s such a façade. Just SAY IT EVERY DAY TO THEIR FACE.
Who needs Valentine’s Day anyway? Who needs to HAVE to prove to their significant other that they do actually love them in the form of flowers/chocolates/dinner/any other extravagance you wish to name? Because it’s romantic? Because everyone else is doing it? Because the TV told them to?
If anything, the day seems to be more for those struggling relationships where the day is set up to be make or break. Sure, going over the top with a weekend away may patch over the abysmal other 364 days of the year but then again, it might not.
Surely there is something wrong if you NEED Valentines Day. If you do love your partner then you should not need a defined day in the calendar to declare it. Simply show that you adore them every day and it only needs a tiny gesture that comes for free. You don’t have to turn up with flowers, simply give them a kiss and ask them how their day went. Hold their hand, hug them, surprise them with a home-cooked meal once in a while. Sometimes the smallest gesture can matter more than a dozen delivered roses, I’d like to think that’s the case most of the time.
For the last two years I have found myself in a major Australian city and seen the extent to which some people will go to impress on Valentine’s Day. I’ll sit on a bench and watch office girls struggling to carry the huge bunch of flowers they have had delivered. At home they’ll sit in a vase and eventually wilt, perhaps as a fitting end to the suggested heartfelt feeling with which they were purchased. By the time the flowers are worthless, will the gesture seem the same?
Money is to be made and Hollywood gets in on the act with a plethora of instantly forgettable films that arrive just in time for ‘Love Day’. This year there is ‘Endless Love’ (this years Romeo and Juliet remake though there is another film out which is actually called Romeo and Juliet) and ‘The Awkward Moment’ starring Zac Efron, of course. Though it’s probably a blessing they’re so forgettable as it means the couples on the back row and in the dark corners can keep themselves occupied.
This year I am having another Anti-Valentines Day. Put simply, I don’t see the point in the day so I’ll spend an evening alone with a bowl of popcorn, a couple of horror films and a bottle of wine that may or may not be part of a supermarket offer. See, even though I don’t want to be a part of it the supermarket has still suckered a couple of quid out of me. At least the supermarkets can say they need Valentines Day.