V-day is a load of shite.
There, I said it. And no, I’m not just saying that because I happen to be single this year *wink wink*
D’you reckon Jane Austen would rather get a fluffy pink teddy bear or skimpy red lingerie from her fella? Or maybe she’s just a Pinot Grigio and mediocre sex kind of gal.
Isn’t it a little odd to think of such a romantic great in such fickle terms? Well, yeah. Because Valentine’s Day has nothing to do with love; at least not in a ‘Pride and Prejudice’ kind of way.
It’s all tacky teddies, social media boasting, and commercialisation.
It is thought that the timing of which we celebrate Valentine’s Day originates from Lupercalia, a Roman fertility festival held on the 15th February to honour Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture.
During Lupercalia, women would write their names on a clay tablet, pop it in a jar, and a man would pick a name out. The two would then hook up. It was kind of like ‘Blind Date’ sans Cilla Black and the awkward small talk at the beginning.
The Christian Church decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day in mid-February to Christianise Lupercalia (sneaky – “we’ll just have our feast day, which happens to be suspiciously similar to yours, a day earlier. No one will notice”).
Saint Valentine is recognised as being a priest who helped Christian couples secretly tie the knot, despite the laws surrounding soldiers having to remain single in the Roman Empire. Emperor Claudius II wasn’t happy with Valentine and sentenced him to death around 270 AD.
So who do we have to blame for the commercialisation of love considering Valentine’s day’s dismal origin?
During the 1700s in England, couples began sending each other letters and flowers to show their affection to one another. Printed cards became popular, and once Hallmark was established in 1913, they began mass-producing cards. Thus a booming industry surrounding fake plastic roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates was born.
It’s gotten to the point where it’s so hyper-commercialised that people buy Valentine cards for their dogs. I mean, I love doggies and all, but seriously?
Logging on to social media on Valentine’s day, you’re met with stomach-churning statuses, each person trying to posture their boyfriend as “the best”, gloating about how “in love” they are (when they’ve been together for about 3 weeks).
Some couples even use Valentine’s Day as a green-light to share cringe-worthy pictures of them kissing, or post repulsively wholesome messages to each other (publicly of course), although this is a minority of couples. Most are simply content with being with their partner, feeling no need to advertise their bliss.
We’re made to feel a bit bad for being single. You’re met with especially deprecating looks on Valentine’s day when you say “no, I actually won’t be doing anything tonight.”
“Don’t worry, Mr. Right isn’t too far away”, “oh someone nice will come along soon” they say, which is pretty patronizing. Maybe I just can’t be arsed with a Valentine? All I care about is getting to my local shop once it opens tomorrow to nab all the discounted chocolate.
I’m very much with David on this one. Modern love terrifies me too.
Here’s an idea; instead of buying your partner a bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day, why not do it randomly throughout the year? Do we really need just one day to show your partner you love them?
The same goes for the rest of our ridiculous holidays, like Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day. Why not make your mammy breakfast in bed any of the other 364 days of the year, or buy your dad a pint every now and then anyway?
If you don’t have someone to spend today with, get the gang together, crack open a few bottles of wine and have yourself a Galentine’s night. If your mates aren’t free then why not treat yo’ self tonight? Light a few candles, put on your favourite film and basque in the notion that you get to have your double bed all to yourself, with no asshole stealing all the covers.
If you didn’t get a Valentine’s card, here’s a little collection of funny ones I made just for you:
Enjoy your night, whether with your partner, your mates, or if you’re just going to be a cosy hermit.