There is an inherent contradiction built into Valentine’s Day. As Karl Marx might have said, it “contains the seeds of its own destruction.” Let me say at the outset – before going any further – that I don’t see this as a negative thing. Anything that wakes us up a little, that makes us think about the meanings behind our rites and rituals, is a good thing.

This evening I spent Valentine’s Day with the person I most wanted to spend it with. We went to the theatre – we chose something pointedly anti-romantic, as has been our practice for years – and we had a hell of a good time.

The contradiction behind Valentine’s Day comes down to the question: “Why do we need a special day – just one out of 365 – to celebrate our love for each other?” I do understand that the people at the Hallmark Card company need to eat. For them, and for those in their trade, this is simply business. The trick is to get lots of people into a frenzy, making them think that if they do not give that long-stemmed rose, cook that dinner, do that special something on Valentine’s Day, then their love is not true. I would like to point out, hopefully without offending anybody, that when we discuss such things, we are not really talking about love – we are talking about commerce.

I am all for anything that boosts the economy, particularly in these fiscally bleak times. But I would like to humbly suggest that there are deeper truths here. We are human, and we need to feel a connection with each other. We need to love, and we need to be loved. Why single out only one day of the year for this important aspect of our lives?

Think about the things you plan for Valentine’s Day – the home-cooked dinner, the flowers, the perfect little surprise gift wrapped in shiny gold paper. Why attach those things to a single day? Why not make them the very fabric of your daily life? You have nothing to lose, fellow humans, but your cynicism.

I resolved at some point to treat every day as Valentine’s Day. I wake up in the morning, think of the person I love, and I say to myself “Now what cool new surprise can I cook up today to celebrate the way I feel about this?”

And so for me, yes, Valentine’s Day is a bit of a joke – the notion that all these people suddenly wake up for one day and think they have 24 hours to express their love for each other. And it is the strangeness of that notion which reminds me that every day is Valentine’s Day. If you love somebody, with all your heart and soul, don’t hold back, don’t wait. Give them the crazy little gift today – whatever day of the year it may be – cook them that home-cooked dinner, put your soul on the line for them.

You won’t be sorry.

3 thoughts on “VDay”

  1. I remember a friend was telling me that his wife was having birthday and she would expect something big…At first I didn’t know what to say, it seemed over all ridiculous to me. But then I asked, why don’t you surprise her with something small – those crazy little gifts you are talking about Ken πŸ˜‰ – each day to tell her how much you love her? Guess what he said? He said:” but I already spoilt her with a bracelet some weeks ago… ”
    He was actually telling me, he had done enough. He actually meant coming up with something big two or three times a year, is enough. Enough affection to be shown. How funny.

    My partner and me are trying to make to feel each other like he or she is having birthday all over the year. Sometimes it is not easy, since we live with each other for nearly ten years. But we still try and non of us is disappointed if we forget about the ‘special days’ , what happens from both sides quite regularly. Actually it always makes us smile a lot.

    I still remember my partner looking at me a little bit confused, while I was having some champagne at my office desk. I was laughing and told him, oh it is my birthday today…
    Could you imagine what kind of drama that would have been, if we wouldn’t have our daily birthdays?
    Like he forgot my birthday – he doesn’t care, the birthday present wasn’t big enough, he doesn’t care enough… ROFL

    How poor can a relationship be, if you need to measure it’s quality at the size of the present. How poor can a relationship be, if you show off big three times a year and take the rest for granted. How poor can a relationship be, if you need to hold back and find no way to show how important the other person is to you?!

    Yes – I hear some of you guys saying – these women, they always want to talk and to show.

    But please tell me, is it a special quality not to be able to talk about or show emotions or feelings? (I am talking about private life here.)

    So in the end, did I get flowers for Valentine’s Day? No, my partner picked up my weekly ‘economist’ for me, smiled and said:” I know you love it more than flowers…”

    After nearly ten years I can’t thank him for knowing me and loving me enough and I can’t tell him enough how much I love him.
    In spite – like you Ken – I try every day.

  2. “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…” -E. Browning

    I agree wholeheartedly… if you need an excuse to be appreciative, you’re not appreciative…

    I, personally, hate (well, hate’s probably a strong word)… dislike… the notion that I’m expected to “gift” because of a mark on a calendar… It means so much more to show appreciation in your own way, when you think of it yourself, rather than beeing prodded by Hallmark…

  3. You said it Ken. My sweetheart Keith sends me flowers on days that I least expect it. We don’t need a calendar date to tell us when to celebrate or express our love for each other. But V-Day is a sweet reminder, that’s all. It’s like an old Joni Mitchell song:
    “The times you impress me most are the times you don’t even try.” πŸ™‚

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