Everyone says “I love you”
I WANT DIAMONDS and roses. I want a three-course meal and a romantic trip. I want chocolates (hand-made) and champagne (Perignon) and a compilation CD and a teddy bear holding hearts declaring that they ‘love’ me. And I want a card, better than any card I’ve ever had before, with strings of compliments, flattery and poetry. Obviously, if I don’t get these things then I’m unloved. I can be cast to the bottom of the pile along with the other disappointed Valentine’s Day dreamers. How embarrassing.
Unfortunately therein lies the trap. Someone along the way changed the concept of Valentine’s Day and with that changed the concept of love itself. It’s really an ingenious idea because that same someone is probably sitting on the millions of pounds amassed on February 14th every year. The whole industry has allowed people to get so carried away in a direction of gross materialism, that we are finding ourselves further and further removed from finding real love by spending more and more time on these trivial conventions. It seems like the whole of our romantic lives has become dominated by one date mid-February that holds no attachment to anybody.
It’s entertaining that Valentine’s Day convinces us that movies can be reality, encouraging us to incorporate cinematic ideals in our dreams of the big V-day. Everyone wants their love-life to be transformed into a feature film all of a sudden, (Oh, another thing, I want to be Kate Hudson with Matthew McConaughey chasing my cab on a motorcycle to declare his intense feelings for me).
The old-fashioned, cutesy, but far-too-ordinary standards of showing love just aren’t good enough anymore. We don’t want to just be told, “I love you”… on Valentine’s Day, it must be declared, written, sung, sighed, proved. It’s all about the act.
Valentine’s Day has drifted so far away from any genuine notion of romance that the whole day is like a parody of itself. You only have to look in a Clinton Cards in the lead up to the big day to realise the near tragi-comedy of the situation. The stress levels in those places, I swear, would cast a grim shadow on the sun. A whole routine of fretting over the ‘perfect card’ ensues.
Most of them have teddy bears on them, or bunnies or sheep, (all symbols closely associated with true love, of course). You think, yes, it’s cute, but what if it comes across as too pre-adolescent? Then you scan down the aisle… and a comedy card suddenly seems like a brilliant idea. It would show your light-hearted banter, but, you worry, what if you seem too funny? A lack of seriousness would send oneself down the ‘friendship-zone’ route. It worsens when finally, just when you think you have found the best card in the world, you open it up to uncover the most hideous, vomit-worthy, valentine’s poetry ever. Just shoot me. We depend, however, on this type of pre-digested commercialism, to get us through Valentine’s Day.
Whoever needs a hallmark greeting card to re-affirm their ‘love’ is, I’m afraid, not in love. People do feel the need to have proof. (It’s as though, if you didn’t get the present you wanted, then your partner doesn’t know you at all. He clearly doesn’t love you. However good it might have seemed, it’s probably a sign that it’s not going to work, and in fact, you may as well split up now).
On the other hand, you may have a perfect day with a perfect present then, bam! Marriage material! Sadly, it seems this day is held as being of paramount importance over anything else. It’s the Valentine’s ‘machine’ making people forget what is really important; the closeness of the heart and the goodness of character.
Real love should always be apparent and celebrated everyday, outside the constrained 24 hours of February 14th. Real love doesn’t need a day as an excuse for affection. Yes, diamonds and roses are lovely, but love needs a lot more than that.
So, I propose a change in tack… an annual Valentine’s Year. The pressure is gone but the romance can remain. No more elitist calendar system of restraint! No more discrimination between the days! Allow the freedom of expression of love without materialism, anytime, anywhere, anyhow!
Anyway, before it begins to sound like I’m on a crusade I should explain; maybe I’m just too cool, (unlikely), or too boring, or simply too lazy, or maybe I’m the one that is the most nervous about disappointment.
Whatever it is, I’d rather like a return to old days of true romance and true love, without this hyped up day interfering, and most importantly, without the need for a teddy bear to tell you that he loves you.