Tuesday, 12 February 2013
A Valentine's message for you, yes, YOU
Once a year, our calendar is graced with a heart shaped extravaganza that fills supermarket shelves with an array of suggestive looking stuffed animals, and rams our Facebook homepage with hundreds of arty bouquet shots, published proudly with captions such as 'aren't I a lucky girl?' and 'my boyfriend is the absolute best!!!! xxx.'
Yup, St Valentine's day is upon us. Smooch. (Is this an appropriate time to tell you that I love you? I do, I do, you beautiful stranger, you.)
Valentine's day remains an event which continues to divide opinion. Some people turn starry-eyed and bonkers, and some barely acknowledge it at all. Some mark the occasion with a candlelit meal and a marathon of ravenous intercourse, and others spend it stalking the love interest that doesn't even know they exist. (WOAH, naughty.) Some choreograph an enthusiastic finger click and declare that they're 'an independent woman who don't need no man', and others spend it sobbing discreetly, gazing mournfully at the empty mass of bed sheet beside them. (If that's you, I'm going to say this in the nicest way possible; you need to sort your shit.)
Personally, I sit firmly on the fence. You see, I can't help but like Valentine's day a little bit. I happen to have a penchant for heart-shaped frying pans. Do you fancy cooking me some eggs on Thursday morning? I'm also a hopeless romantic, and if it's going to inspire the lovebirds of this world to get affectionate/cosy/naked, then I'm happy to champion the cause. And for those of us that are single right now, the day is always shrouded in that little, shiny gleam of sweet anticipation; will we receive post from a mysterious, anonymous admirer? Will a deliciously handsome, rugged caveman type leave a charming note on the inside of a dusty, antique book, and follow it up with an offer to take us to Nando's? (Okay, okay, I'm probably out of luck.)
The other part of me (the more opinionated, less naive side) is absolutely adamant, that heart-shaped frying pans aside, Valentine's is the biggest, most ridiculous commercial spectacle of the entire year. I also begrudge Valentine's due to the implicit ideology that romance is primarily about 'stuff'. Where's the imagination in the purchase of cliche junk, inspired purely by a half-wonky banner in a supermarket and a social pressure to please? Nope, spontaneous, sentimental, creative romance is definitely more my thing. Fuck Cupid. (Not literally, you saucy devil; that would defeat the point.)
And of course, at the other end of the love bus, Valentine's makes it all too easy for us single folk to find ourselves ever-so-slightly disappointed when our fantasy mystery admirer doesn't suffice. Let's be honest, while it's not exactly worthy of a Havisham moment, it's always nice to feel wanted, unless of course we are wanted by the aforementioned stalker-type, who eats ravioli for breakfast and spends hours staring intently at half-naked photos of us which were taken through our bedroom window, from a wheelie bin hideout. Lessons in how to fancy someone like a civilised human being, anyone?
Anyway, the point of my letter is to wish you a very happy St Valentine's day, whether you're treating it as the biggest, wildest, most awe-inspiring day of the whole year, as just another mediocre Thursday, or as a bittersweet inconvenience that may well drive you temporarily bonkers. I hope that the day brings you whatever you're wishing for.
It's also to remind you of a little piece of sparkly wisdom that tends to get lost amongst the schmaltziness at this time of year. Whether you're single or completely head over heels in love, a fan of Valentine's or not, the most important, fulfilling, and valuable relationship in this life is the one that you have with yourself. Falling in love is a beautiful thing, but we should always embrace our own definition.
So please, this Valentine's, take a moment out of your day to appreciate your own brilliance, because I'm pretty sure there's brilliance inside of us all.
Lots of love,
Kathy B (your not so secret admirer)
PS: I think you should know, you're looking damn beautiful today.