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Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Love is in the air…or is that just petrol fumes?

I was talking to my roommate earlier about a key memory from my youth about V-Day, I was in my early teens and I was helping my mum do the Weekly shopping on a Friday that happened to be February 14th. The tradition always was that I would help do the shopping in Sainsbury’s (mainly so I could spot and add things to the trolley that I liked that she would otherwise not buy) and I would take the trolley of paid for items back to the car and sit and listen to the radio until she returned from getting her final few purchases in Marks & Spencer (where I never liked the food as much growing up, so never bothered trying to get items into the basket). On this particular night, I remember sitting in the car and listening to Belfast Citybeat, Cool FM and even BBC Radio 1 launch into saccharine overdrive.

I had the pleasure of hearing Tricia tell Dan how he is her everything and that he completes her, followed by the bellowing of Bryan Adams ‘Everything I Do (I Do It For You)’, then Mark writing about how Valerie means the world to him and that he’s glad they got back together, of course followed by Starship ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’, and of course who could forget Gerard and Tina announce their engagement live on air to their friends and how he took her to their favourite restaurant and he proposed, with the radio presenter gushing over how original an idea it was, despite it being the most predictable location possible. Of course this had to be followed by some…any…ALL of Whitney Houston’s back catalogue. The radio presenter would then joke about the silliness involved with Valentine’s Day…and then proceed to carry on gushing about the love stories that have been sent in……those minutes spent listening to all that drivel had two effects, the first was it hit a sore spot initially so felt quite lonely as a singleton (though I don’t know why I even cared at that age) and secondly, it pretty much guaranteed that I would despise the idea of Valentine’s Day for the rest of my days.

While I am all for couples being happy and in love and all that jazz, I almost feel sorry for them, because they are being forced by Hallmark and Society to spend vast sums of money for an occasion not of their own choosing, in order to either sustain a social convention at best, or at worst they must one up a friend or colleague who has gone the extra mile for fear that they’d be seen as uncaring or ungenerous. I think there is nothing more unromantic than an expensive Valentine’s present, for what is deemed to be a grandiose demonstration of the high level of love that you have for someone, ends up appearing rather clinical as it can at times appear that love is a quantifiable thing that can be matched with a certain level of financial investment.

As previously mentioned in posts, I am an eternal singleton and so I’ve only had the pleasure of being in a serious relationship on one Valentine’s Day. On that day in particular I had a lovely day with my then boyfriend, not because it was V-Day, but because we were spending time together and having fun, things that mattered each and every 365 days of the year. Rather than gifts we resolved to write a note to each other and that was it. The words that leapt from the page in the handwritten note from my boyfriend were real currency, and were more valuable than the most expensive of potential clothes or technology that I could’ve received…because those words took real heart to send. I am not in any way saying that large gestures are in themselves unwelcome or a sign that you only know how to throw money about…all I am saying is that, in my case…a pen and some paper were all it took to make a typical day extra special, it can be as simple as that!

As per usual this post lacks a central plot and is more just a place for my thoughts on something to find fertile soil. I don’t believe that when I have a bf that I should tell him that I like/love him on 14th February, if I’ve not been telling him all the previous days of our relationship, then it’s not a relationship worth being in! I do hope that my fellow singletons have survived today knowing that we are in a much better state than the radio stations and media and society would like to present to us…Yes it’s amazing to be with someone, but it’s better to be with the right someone…and so we’d prefer to wait for that! In the meantime…that money that we saved on not sending cards/flowers/chocolates or whatever…well that’ll do nicely for a few rounds of drinks this weekend, so it’s not all bad!

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