For most of my life February has been a month containing my favourite and worst commemorative days. My favourite: Pancake Day. The dreaded Valentine’s Day, however, has always been a hatred target for me and many other disgruntled members of society. Pancake Day is great! It’s traditional, yummy and filling. Valentine’s Day is resented by tighter folk that it’s just a good chance for card companies to have a laugh at us. My grumpy mouth would usually be the first person to voice out against Valentine’s Day, I’ll admit, it hasn’t been for me. Red love hearts everywhere! Cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, shops and even radio stations are relentless with their attacks of tacky decorations and love songs wail on. Yes, we all know that deep, deep down it’s supposed to be nice and that we should grin and support the fact that couples around are smitten. But the occasion is undeniably infuriating. Upsetting for new singletons, depressing or wasted ‘fun’ depending on the mood of single individuals, awkward for new couples and it could go many ways depending on the strength, skill and memory of longer term couples. I have no preference over which group of these Valentines are better or worse, all extremes on this day hurt.
I’ve had an inward struggle this year about a different stance for the next approaching February 14th. After extensive Wikipedia research (the author had 150 footnotes so let’s relax and admit Wiki can be okay) Valentine’s Day is becoming something I believe I could be comfortable with if I were to shape it more into the type of celebration I want to think of it as. People celebrate St Valentine’s Day all over the world. We have interesting differences but an overriding similar theme to the day, it seems we’ve boiled it down to making others know that we like and care for them, whether it is a beau, friend or colleague. I want to divert Valentine’s Day away from cheesiness and relax about addressing a day with agape. It’s a good thing that we allocate days to appreciate any person who can put up with us, that’s why Birthdays, Mother’s day, Father’s day and Valentine’s Day are positive days in a year. Of course, it is still undoubtedly a day where jewellers, flower shops and chocolatiers jump for delight. But perhaps it isn’t such a bad a thing that businesses are given a few days a year where they increase sales; you could be helping out Clintons and Thorntons, older faces in many of our British High Streets. It gives an important boost to our cherished local businesses that have struggled in a recession: cafes, flower shops, local pubs that form our town centres (…and as I said before, I suppose deep deep down, it is just quite nice.)
I still love Pancake Day more than ever but my passionate dislike for Valentine’s Day wanes. Despite my valiant efforts at rationalising my change of tune to the day, I think that as the date looms – despite everything – many of us can fluctuate, straddle, and splinter our bums on the fence deliberating whether we really are true cynics or if it could just be that we have a slither of us that deep deep down is a teeny weeny bit of a sop.
Image by Stanly Dezignus