I will state this at the risk of becoming extremely unpopular: I hate Valentine’s Day! But before you all raise your eyebrows at me and start to judge me, let me explain why.
What is the 14th of February? It’s just a day in the calendar. The 14th of February means that we are halfway through the month of February, it being a 28-day (or 29) month. Since when has the 14th of February acquired this cult status of being the day to celebrate love?
I can still feel myself being judged by anyone who is reading my post. There are now speculations going on about the state of my marriage. Let me assure everyone that my marriage is perfectly normal and by normal, I mean that just like any other marriage, it has its ups and downs.
Any sane person who has been married for a few years knows that it is impossible to sustain a heightened state of romance in a marriage. At the end of the day marriage is about compromise, adjustment, mutual respect and an understanding of each other’s likes, dislikes and requirements. If we have to add children into the bargain, then marriage is about raising the children together and yes, arguing over them from time to time.
May I ask, where does Valentine’s Day come into the picture? I have friends who want us to go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day. If it falls in the middle of the week, like it does this year, how does one plan an elaborate dinner in the midst of our busy lives and schedules?
How did the concept of Valentine’s Day come about? Who is Cupid? To get satisfactory answers to my queries, I did what any person does these days, i.e. I searched online!
My research told me that the 14th of February is a Christian feast day honouring one or two early Christian saints called Valentinus. There are stories that say that Saint Valentine was imprisoned for performing wedding ceremonies for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. There is another story that says that Saint Valentine restored the sight of the blind daughter of his judge and before his execution wrote her a letter saying, “Your Valentine” as a farewell.
The 14th of February first became associated with romantic love in the 14th century in Europe. In 18th century England, it became an occasion when lovers expressed their love for each other by sending each other flowers, confectionary and cards that became known as Valentines.
Who was Cupid? In Greek mythology, he was known as Eros and in Roman mythology, he was known as Cupid. He was considered to be the god of love and it was said that his arrows would pierce the hearts of his victims, causing them to fall deeply in love. How did Cupid become one of the symbols of Valentine’s Day is a question that my research could not answer!
When I was a child, I was aware of the existence of Valentine’s Day as a day where people in love exchanged cards, flowers and chocolates. As a teen it was something to giggle, blush and tease friends about.
But since the last several years, I have observed that this day and the build-up to it is acquiring proportions that border on the ridiculous! You cannot escape it: about 2 or 3 weeks prior to the 14th of February, you can see pictures and promotions based on this theme! Be it social media like Facebook and Instagram or the print media like newspapers and magazines and even the mass media like radio and television channels, everyone is talking about and promoting Valentine’s Day.
I have seen and received messages about promotions in various restaurants, cafes and even beauty salons in the city. Are there actually women who go to the salon to get groomed for Valentine’s Day? Judging from the number of promotional schemes in existence, I’m guessing that there must be.
Doesn’t this put partners in a marriage or a relationship under tremendous pressure to perform? If everyone asks each other about their Valentine Day plans and you say that you have none, do people start questioning the solidity of your marriage or relationship? Are people pressured into going for that Valentine Day makeover or into buying flowers or gifts or into booking a table in a café or restaurant?
I am ending my post by asking whether people need a Valentine’s Day to profess their love for each other. Can’t love be shown by actions and that too, not on a particular day but on a daily basis?
I hope that I have not angered or upset people with this post. I have merely expressed my views and I’m sure that many people have differing opinions or views. I am glad if people get a chance to make money on this day but at the same time, I am saddened by the fact that Valentine’s Day has become nothing but a crass commercial money-making business.