Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Day of Lurrve? Or not?

I'm blogging about Valentine's Day NOW, because I won't be blogging about it, THEN. Yup, on the 14th, I'll be welcoming a very special guest on to Love and Chocolate who'll be telling me all about what she's got going on on Valentine's Day, and bleating about my own news, the release of Bound to Love. (Which, for anyone who has a Kindle and likes to get a jump on things, can now be ordered on Amazon for delivery to your kindle on Valentine's Day, first thing!).

I've been thinking about the whole 'Day of Lurrve' and here are my thoughts. Warning - not particularly romantic!

Back in 1382, Geoffrey Chaucer in his poem, Parlement of Foules, first made mention of Valentine’s day when he wrote:

For this was seynt Volantynys day
Whan every byrd comyth there to chese his make.
Which apparently means ‘For this is Saint Valentine’s Day, When every bird cometh there to choose his mate.’

In 2011, the tradition has morphed into a huge money making industry, with over 190 million valentine cards sent each year in the US alone. Amazingly, over half of the cards sent are to family members who aren’t in a romantic relationship at all, mostly children.
Am I a bad mother for not sending valentine cards to my children? Looking at the figures, I guess I may be! (although I only know one family who send valentine’s to their kids, but maybe things are done differently in other countries!).
After experiencing many 14th Febs, I’ve come to a few conclusions about the day:
The first is that men universally dread it. No matter how organised a man, they always forget, causing a mad dash to the petrol station to see if there are any ‘red flowers’ left, and a battle through the scrum to grab a dog-eared card or the last, rather beaten up, box of chocolates. I’ve questioned the DH in great detail, and winkled out the truth. He’s sure women love Valentine’s Day. But in questioning my female friends I had my suspicions confirmed. Many of them hate it too.
For those in relationships, it’s mandatory to spend on something red, something chocolatey, or something overpriced. My local supermarket has extended its range to include Valentine’s day underwear, nighties, candles and toys. I almost fell over the large cardboard display holding cards on the way in. I feel like not buying. Just because I’m being forced into it. But if I don’t, what will DH say when asked what he got? Admitting he got nothing is bound to make him feel unloved.

And if I give nothing, I’m bound to receive nothing too.

And people ask. They want to see evidence of love. Bought in a shop. Proof that someone has braved the crowds to flick through millions of cards before finding the perfect one. If I say ‘I asked him not to get me anything, it’s over-commercialised,’ then I’ll be smiled at pityingly. Probably patted on the back with an ‘Ah never mind, have one of my chocolates.’

They say love can survive anything –
but can it survive Valentine’s Day?