Yesterday, as I was sat against our living room radiator, cradling a cup of tea to warm my frozen fingers, whilst simultaneously attempting to stop the puppy from destroying everything in sight, the boyfriend popped his head around the door to say goodbye, with an added, ‘You haven’t got anything for Valentine’s Day, have you?’
And I hadn’t. And I don’t know why I would. You see, I feel very strongly that I shouldn’t store all of my love up for one day of the year that has no significance to me, or us. Sure, if we happened to get together on V-Day or it was one of our birthdays, but we didn’t, and it’s not.
But it’s not just the pressure and the unnecessary expectation, money spent on things we don’t need and the hassle of getting dolled up for a night out when we’d much rather slob out around the kitchen table with a bottle of wine and a one-pot dinner of gluttony. It’s the huge effect it has on our economy, environment and mental health of the people around us.
So lets take V-Day back down to the hard cold facts:
1. Those beautiful red roses left on your kitchen table whilst you’re in the shower and your fella hops to work? Think about where they’ve come from.
Roses don’t grow during our cold, wet winter here in England, but prefer the warmer climates of South Africa. This means that 100 million roses are transported by air, using those all important fossil-fuels to get here. They also need to be refrigerated throughout their journey, which uses more fuel. Not to mention the refrigerant gasses needed are also terribly harmful to the environment.
2. Studies have confirmed time and time again that Valentine’s Day has the highest rate of suicide.
And also a time when many young people admit to feeling depressed and sad on February 14th. Whether through the expectation to be in love on this day or the hollow feeling of being unwanted, there is a seriously darker side to this holiday.
3. The hefty money invested in Valentine’s Day marketing puts extreme pressure on our men to dish out the goods.
Not only are our boys expected to deliver a night of raucous fun beneath the sheets, but we also expect them to bust out the romantic gestures and dig deep into their pockets to show us just how much they love us. In the UK, the national average spent on Valentine’s Day is £45. Forty-five pounds that could be spent on a cheap flight to Europe, tickets to the theatre or even the weekly shop. We’re a society that are broke enough as it is, without the expectation to spend even more. Not to mention that retailers jack up their prices in the run up to Feb 14th too.
4. The tradition behind St Valentine’s Day ain’t exactly rosy.
One origin of the Hallmark Holiday points towards the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which celebrated the beginning of spring by pairing off women with men by lottery. Tradition then called for men to sacrifice a goat and a dog, then whip their women with the hides of the animals they had just slaughtered. And they say romance is dead, eh?
So this Sunday Feb 14th, how about gathering all of the people you love around a table and celebrating your friendship? If you’re other half has a soft spot for roses, why don’t you wait until they are in-season before surprising them? And if you’re a sucker for romance, just hold your horses for a week, when prices drop to normality again?
If you enjoyed this post, why not check out ‘Valentines Day is Not an Excuse to Behave like a Cat in Heat’?