The hour is nigh. The day has arrived. All those heart cards and bunches of roses and chocolate boxes have been around since the beginning of the New Year. All the shelves were stocked with Valentine’s Day merchandise as soon as the 12 days of Christmas were done…sooner in many cases. It’s like we just can’t get enough love or the reminder of it.
But you and I are wise to the situation aren’t we? What’s love got to do with it? Really. And especially after Christmas when we have spent enough money to convince our loved ones….and the rest of them….that we love them. Just as we catch our breath from all that, we have to do it all over again a few weeks later. In the dead of winter too.
Maybe we think love will bring the warmth we need. Maybe we need another winter celebration to break up the monotony of grey skies, rain, snow, ice and long, dark nights in our northern hemisphere. But that, we understand, doesn’t cut it either. What we really have, if we’re honest….even though most don’t want to be or don’t care….is another corporate hoodwink. And we’ve allowed it. We’ve swallowed it. After all, who would ever go against love?
It all began with an obscure saint, actually several of the same name, who has since been demoted by the Roman Catholic Church. And maybe Christians changed a pagan ritual of lust and lascivity to a more sedate celebration (just look at Christmas). It could have been a day immortalised by Chaucer or some other Englishman to promote romantic love. Who knows? No one really. But, like everything else, once someone comes up with an idea, it either snowballs or dies a slow death and gets buried in the annals of time. In this case, love overcame all and our shops today are a testimony to how retail can perpetuate a myth and take it to ridiculous heights.
Now, I’m no killjoy. Far be it for me to diss anything even remotely based on love. But I am no romantic. I’ve been told. Sentimental, yes. And quite empathetic. Just not a romantic. I’m far too self-absorbed to woo. I’ve tried. It’s exhausting work. You have to think of so many things and do it right depending on the person you’re with. One thing I’ve learned over the years as a male? Females are fussy creatures….most of them….the feminine ones anyway. Some like facial hair. Others don’t. Some like roses. Some don’t. Chocolates could be a sign of trying to fatten them up. You might pick the wrong restaurant or a movie that she didn’t want to see. Even if you get the movie right, you will be bored through it. You know what I mean.
I’m talking about Valentine’s Day you understand. Everything has to come together on one day of the year to earn points for the male that ought to hold sway for a little while at least. I’m also talking about my age as it relates to the 14th February. Maybe customs have changed. The Valentine’s Day I’m talking about has been in place for years. It’s a given. The youth of today may see things differently. The corporate world does its best to keep the fires of the day burning, but trends change. I can only hope sense wins out and this generation of anti-corporate people brings things back to a natural order.
The natural order, to my way of thinking, is to be romantic….if you have to be….any old time or all the time and let the rest of us display affection and such when and where we see fit, inexpensively and without guilt being poured on us. Love and let love so to speak. Don’t heap it all on to one day a year as if our very lives and souls and hearts depend on it. Perhaps Valentine’s Day is perfect for romantics because romance is a fleeting, temporary almost ethereal feeling or emotion whereas the long haul of love is difficult to maintain and celebrate in one day.
I’m ignoring the day actually. Just another Sunday. The sun is shining where I sit. The air is cold, but clear with no strong winds. Please don’t take this as a sign that St. Valentine, whoever he was, is smiling down on me here in my little Marina in Hertfordshire. Just another Sunday. Me and my best friend are going to take a little walk later to take in the crisp February air. Then we’ll have lunch on the boat and probably watch some telly (TV). Just like any other day, but always pleasant.
So….Happy Valentine’s day anyway….if you must.