(if you’re looking for some nice, romantic music for this evening, may I suggest this piece?)
That title may come as a surprise to those of you who’ve been hanging around this blog for a while, considering I’m about as romantically active as a vasectomised panda, but I’d like for everyone to stop being so down on Valentine’s Day. The holiday is apparently about giving a shit for the interests and opinions of other human beings, and giving them heart-shaped trinkets when you could be donating to WaterAid like a decent human being, in a pathetic attempt to get into their pants, which might have some historical basis but I won’t look it up just to prove how little relevance that basis has to a discussion about the day. And while I’ll be celebrating this most uncelebratable of holidays by going to a club night entitled ‘Stuff Valentines’, a lot of people have an insane variety of opinions on Valentines Day, ranging from soppy indulgence in the annual provision of pink chocolates and cut-price DVDs of Ten Things I Hate About You in Tescos across the land, to outrage at the very concept of this commercialised, diabetes-inducing piece of shite holiday, whose continued existence just further exemplifies the extent of mankind’s fall from perfection way back when we were chilling in the Garden of Eden (possibly).
But my point is that both responses, regardless of the intention to celebrate or ridicule Valentine’s Day, contribute to it as a holiday; like language, holidays can’t be forced onto civilisation, they take time to develop, and have a number of influences across many generations – this is why Christmas is celebrated about four months before Jesus’ actual historical birthday, because it – as a single event – has been shaped as much by pagan ideas and the practical need for a party in the middle of the bleak winter, as it was Christian theology. Similarly, Valentine’s Day isn’t so much about an upsetting array of PDA, involving so many painfully unattractive people that I start to consider myself literally the most physically underwhelming human being ever to have been produced in our ten thousand year history, but strong opinions on what is ultimately a pretty trivial celebration, even within the trivial world of partying on specific days for no real reason.
People that hate on Valentine’s Day, and the people who indulge in it, are contributing as much to the developing lore and legacy of the holiday as those who buy teddy bears with hearts on their bellies; this’ll probably turn out for the worst, as Valentine’s Day 2065 will be more about those mutually exclusive opinions, and the resulting civilisation-smashing war that will envelope the Earth due to humanity’s impressive desire to defend trivial viewpoints to the literal death. This has already happened with Easter – a religious ceremony being turned into an excuse to buy plushy rabbits carrying baskets of Creme Eggs – and Christmas, whose explicitly religious origins were being warped into broader, more secular bits of humanitarian charity way back when Charles Dickens told us not to be nasty at Christmas, or get visited by some pissed-off ghosts.
So that’s why I want us all to leave Valentine’s Day alone; to its supporters, I tell you to show affection 365 days of the year, and even if you claim that you do, there’s still a single day placed above all the others in terms of love and companionship, which means your romantic efforts of all of the other 364 days will be somehow inferior (this is also why I’m not a fan of celebrating marriages, anniversaries or birthdays just because they fall on a single day each year); and to its opponents, of which I was one until the last few days, I’d encourage you to ignore this farce of a holiday: stop writing ironic, self-referential blog posts about ‘Valentine’s Day Tips For Singles!’, or tweet about how much of a capitalist shithole planet Earth has become because there was some pink tinsel in your flat’s kitchen this morning. If we work together, and start prioritising meaningful, long-term affection for another over individual trinkets and gifts, and ignoring the fires of idiocy around the 14th of February instead of dousing them with petrol, we can consign this crap holiday to that mythical plane of mere memories, removed from reality, where it can share space with Wind Waker’s Hero of Time, the Polytheistic beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians, and the expectation that a Tory-Lib Dem coalition would cut tuition fees.
But if you insist on celebrating this holiday, I have one piece of advice for you – remember that you, regardless of how awesome and long-term your relationship is, will die alone, and leave your partner to face the gruelling monotony of human existence without you, and without the hope of ever finding a companion to make the hurting stop.