I’m about to start watching ‘Valentines Day’ (the movie), you know trying to get myself in the spirit for February 14th. Even as the opening credits begin, the only thought that comes to mind is as if the whole thing wasn’t bad enough already, they had to go and make a movie about the excess amount of red there will be in the world.
It’s not just single people who will be contemplating the value of themselves and their relationships over the lack of roses in their life and cards in their mailbox –I’ve been in relationships on Valentines Day too and even then it has sucked. Florists exploit us; restaurants over charge us and most just spend the day feeling miserable.
I thought about that and realised maybe it’s because every year I have actively boycotted the festivities. So this year I really tried to get into the swing of things, Artisan du Chocolate, red flutes and even going to the beach to find some beautiful shells in which I thought I could serve a shellfish starter. Promptly to be told that I would be left during the course of the evening for five-a-side football. So the whole thing ends before it has even started with me canceling the 14th of February and cursing ‘St. Valentine.’
It’s not just me. One of my friends has left the country because she can’t handle the thought of being here alone – so she would rather be in a foreign country alone. Another one of my friends is mostly likely to only eat Mini Eggs and then inevitably she will curse herself for eating her weight in chocolate to feel better. Another one of my friends is threatening to leave her boyfriend if he doesn’t get them into the restaurant they love because he forgot to book it weeks ago like she’d asked. You don’t want to know what she said when I asked if she really wanted to go that much why hadn’t she booked it herself?
It’s not just women, over the years my male friends have driven me insane too, with their incessant ‘I wish I had a girl today.’ Yes, only for that one-day of course. Whilst many single people anticipate the self-loathing they will slam themselves with, men and women in relationships are running around trying and their special day together as though their relationship and life depends on it.
So what is it about this day that puts so much of the world on edge? It’s supposed to be a harmless Hallmark gimmick but it leaves so many people questioning their worth. Hopes along with any rational are dashed when they don’t receive anything, or their partners don’t care as much as they do about the day and that is equally as disappointing or their crush doesn’t respond or fall in love with them after receiving a present that cost the giver their month’s rent, let alone care for that handmade card you spent a day looking for. Obviously something is going to go wrong, that much pressure all on one day and that much effort just for one day?
I think the people who genuinely enjoy this day are the people who’ve got it right – who treat it like just another day. Singles who get over it and realise at the end of the day there is more to life than this. Couple who do something special with their partner or don’t, without any expectations or pressure. In all of these cases, it doesn’t matter to these people either way because at the end of the day they love themselves and no lack of cards or roses or chocolates will take that away from them.
This year I’m going to use Valentines Day to celebrate myself, just like I do 90% of the time. I won’t bother with oysters or beautiful chocolates and I will watch that movie if only to congratulate myself once again on escaping the madness that is the 14th of February and if you feel anything like me, why not do the same?