When I was in High School, I hated Valentine’s Day. All the girls with boyfriends, the pretty ones, and the popular ones strutted around school with roses, balloons, cards and other items from their admirers. On Valentine’s Day as a teenager, all I wanted was for someone to give me something nice – either that or for the whole day to explode and never rear it’s ugly head again…. I wasn’t fussy. According, to my Mum who loves tradition, Valentine’s Day isn’t designed for the coupled up, the married, or the in love. It is designed for those without to express their affection – for those who admire someone secretly to tell them! Yet Valentine’s Day hasn’t become that – Valentine’s Day is now for everybody to love each other beyond all doubt and prove it through the use of gifts, fancy dates and big gestures.
I like Valentine’s Day now, I have a dedicated boyfriend, and it is basically a good excuse for us to get out of the monotony of every day and do something nice. We are going out for dinner to our favourite pub and will probably exchange some sort of gift. I’ve made him a scrapbook of relationship memories. I don’t expect expensive gifts, I never have – just a card is good enough for me. Yet so many women expect expensive things. I work in a lingerie store, and so many men have come in spending hundreds of dollars on things for their partners. Women as well have spent a lot of money on new lingerie – particularly naughty stuff that you know they will only wear once! Just for Valentine’s Day. Every jewellery store in the mall has been advertising engagement rings, heart shaped necklaces and diamonds since January – with the tagline “say it with Diamonds”, “Nothing says I love you like Jewellery”, etc. Nothing says “I love you” like a piece of overpriced fossilised carbon? Ok then…. I am not that kind of girl – yes some of the things are beautiful, but you don’t need them to prove love.
I propose a back to basics Valentine’s Day. Let’s make this day about showing your love for another person, whether you are with them or just admiring from afar. Ladies, you don’t need expensive jewellery, or fancy gifts to know a man loves you – if he writes you a note and makes you dinner, that is worth so much more than any diamond. Take the consumerism away from Valentine’s Day and just enjoy love. Be it the love from a partner, the love from a friend, a sister, a family member. Ring your Nana and wish her Happy Valentine’s Day – I am sure she will appreciate it. Love comes in all shapes and forms. Not all love is a single red rose and a diamond ring on Valentine’s Day. Nor should it have to be.