First of all – Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s grey and dreary in London but I’m in a smiley love heart kinda mood anyway. You might not be. You might think today is shit. You might think it’s a commercialisation of a, let’s face it, pretty vague holiday.
A Made Up Holiday?
Like most of our traditional celebrations (I’m looking at you, Christmas), it seems to be an amalgam of crossed wires – a pinch of the Roman fertility festival, Lupercalia, mixed in with a dash of the execution of St Valentine, a priest who married Christian couples in secret (after Emperor Claudius decided everyone should worship Roman Gods instead. You know, for the lolz.)
There’s also speculation that Geoffrey Chaucer just made the whole thing up. There’s actually no record of Valentine’s Day before Chaucer’s poem in 1375 – “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate…”
And why is it widely accepted that we give cards and gifts? Well, a little card manufacturer known as Hallmark clocked onto the day and, in 1913, started mass producing Valentine’s Cards.
So yeah. It’s a pretty made up holiday; its origin is vague at best, and it has definitely been exploited for monetary gain.
Does This Mean I Shouldn’t Celebrate?
So Valentine’s Day is clearly a wee bit made up. You might think that it’s nonsensical to put so much effort into showing someone you love them, when the very day you’re celebrating is a farce. Yes, Valentine’s is largely bollocks. Does that mean you can’t celebrate it anyway?
Now this is just my opinion, but- it is my opinion that you can do what you damn well please.
If you have a crush on someone, and you want to use a fabricated day to give you the kick up the ass you need to tell them – you damn well tell them.
If you think that the whole thing is an unjustified waste of time and money, no big – don’t celebrate.
If you’re in love and you like having an excuse to carve some time out of your schedule to shower your SO with affection and presents, fucking go for it. I bet they’ll love it.
If you think you shouldn’t need to be given a day to tell your SO that you love them, that you love them throughout the year – you go ahead and be romantic whenever you damn well want.
If you’re single and you like it that way, you can ignore today altogether – or you can watch and smile and be happy that others are happy.
If you’re single and you don’t like it that way, you can do the same.
If you want to have a palentine’s day, you do it. You want to drink a whole bottle of wine and watch Bridget Jones? You do it. You want to just live like a regular old Tuesday? Fucking do it.
You do you, boo.
Here are the only danger zones: You should not make other people feel shitty about whether or not they choose to acknowledge the day. You should not feel pressured into celebrating because it’s ‘the done thing’. You should not feel like you’ve somehow failed by not having someone to celebrate a fake holiday with.
But What About Capitalism?
Want to celebrate, but worried about what your complicity will do for “The Man”?
Well. Corporations hire people. Your money will be paying wages.
Not good enough?
Make a gift. Cook dinner. Draw a card.
Still not good enough?
Ok. Only buy from independent retailers. Go to a florist whose fee will pay for their kid’s dance lessons. Buy from a chocolatier that really wants to get into calligraphy but can’t quite afford the pens.
So How Are You Celebrating, Georgia?
Well, generally we don’t bother. Adam’s birthday is tomorrow, so I focus on that.
But this weekend, we saw a couple DVD’s we’d been meaning to buy (My Scientology Movie and Hateful Eight) on 2 for £10. So we bought those with the joint account under the guise of Valentine’s Day.
Then when we woke up, we said “happy valentine’s day” and had a cuddle. And that’s about it for us!