Valentine's Day -- An Essay

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
'Money's in the......', no sorry, 'Love is in the air!' Or is it?

Submitted: February 11, 2017

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Submitted: February 11, 2017

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Valentine’s Day – An Essay

 

I don’t usually listen to the radio, but I was sitting in a waiting room last week and it was coming through the speakers there. I heard an interesting statement; that more relationships break up on the day which is exactly one week before Valentine’s Day, than any other day of the year.

 

Now I did wonder how they found that out. I mean, there’s no register of boyfriends and girlfriends so far as I’m aware, and the break-up of a relationship is often kept private rather than broadcast – I might be wrong there, I guess, what with social media and all that. (More about that later.) The suggestion put forward to explain this was that many people felt under pressure to make a commitment on that date, a commitment that they did not want, or were not ready, to make.

 

I don’t know so much. I think it might be something much more basic – the cost of Valentine’s Day, these days. It’s another marketing department’s dream, a way of making money out of romance. And we are not talking cents now – or sense!

 

Every single shop is awash with red! Hearts and flowers abound. And don’t forget the soft toys bearing some suitably romantic sentiment; the bigger the toy the better but just don’t look at the price tag.

 

Cards and cards, some big, some small. Boxes and boxes of heart-shaped chocolates are arranged near the check-outs. Champagne left over from New Year’s Eve takes up a more prominent position in the wine section. And there is an abundance of meals to get you in the mood for.......shall I say it.......okay, then......indigestion! And there’s lots of lacy things, but who is supposed to buy them for who, I wonder?

 

And then we have the flowers. Roses are everywhere, mostly red ones. Now, I’ve never been able to work out the romantic symbolism behind giving someone you love something that is already dying, and has been since the day it was picked. I seem to be in a minority of one there! One of the big German discount stores we have here is having a special sale of 100 red roses for 50 euros. Sorry now, but I know which I’d rather be given and it’s not the flowers.

 

For the more wealthy amongst us, there’s the jewellery stores. Engagement rings, anything with hearts or flowers or messages of love – they’ll all be in the windows saying, ‘If you really love someone, put your money where your heart is!’

 

And that brings me back to social media. Valentine’s gifts used to be way more of a private thing, between the giver and the receiver. Now, you can be pretty sure that what who gave who will be all over facebook, twitter, snapchat etc. And who wants to be shown up as a cheapskate, as someone who does not care enough to dig deep into their wallets.

 

Maybe if there was a little less pressure to spend, spend, spend, a lot of these relationships would not be brought to a sudden end, only to be re-established (sometimes) at a later date.

 

On the other hand, it might just be an excuse to bring something that was going to end anyway to a bit more of a thorough break.


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