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Here's wishing a happy St. Valentine's day (or, as I personally prefer to think of it, festival of Venus) to one and all of you.

It's apparently become fashionable these days to be cynical about Valentine's day, and talk about commercialisation, and the packaging of complex emotions, and sexism, and the compartmentalisation of something which should be celebrated every day, and so forth, and I do see the merit in a lot of those arguments. But as with any of these things, your own Valentine's day is as good or as bad as you choose to make it, and fundamentally I think it's a good thing for humanity at large if we have a day set aside in our calendar to communally remind ourselves of the value of loving others.

This morning, from a warm seat on the bus, I watched a fresh-faced boy battling through drizzle on his bicycle, with a bunch of flowers clutched against the handle-bars - and that's nice. In the sandwich shop, they'd drawn little hearts on strips of paper, and stuck them along the chiller cabinet shelves - and that's nice. A girl walked along chatting to her friends, holding a lilac heart-shaped balloon - and that's nice. It would be even nicer to see it every day I guess, but the function of festivals is to remind us to foreground things which might otherwise slip our minds in the daily rush of life, and I think it's helpful for us to have Valentine's day for that purpose.

I can't actually participate actively, since I'm a cold-hearted beeyatch, and frankly the idea of being in a real relationship with another actual human being still gives me The Fear. But I see that many of you are bolder and brighter and braver than me, and to all of you who manage to do it successfully, I say hooray, and good for you. So if you have a boy or a girl to kiss today, give 'em a kiss from me. I may not play much myself, but it's fun to cheer from the sidelines.


( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 14th, 2008 11:52 am (UTC)
I'm as cynical as they come and anything pink makes me puke, but even I felt a little depressed to see four Flist posts in a row whinging about Valentine's day. Ironically, all the allegedly smug and soppy folk seem to be keeping it to themselves.
Feb. 14th, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC)
I felt a little depressed to see four Flist posts in a row whinging about Valentine's day. Ironically, all the allegedly smug and soppy folk seem to be keeping it to themselves.

Well said. I know some people complain that Valentine's Day has been commercialised to the extreme (a fair point, but I feel it's just a nice reminder that you should do something special for someone special). However, it's quite interesting to note that any anti-Valentine's posts I've seen on LJ thus far make no reference to commercialisation at all and are just, frankly, bitter. Cynicism is absolutely fine in my book, but not such out-and-out bitterness (ie, "hands up if you hate Valentine's Day"/"Valentine's Day sucks and so do those who celebrate it"/"it's just another day", etc).
I'm in a relationship at the moment, so obviously Valentine's Day has added appeal this year, but even when I haven't been involved with someone whilst Valentine's Day occurs, I haven't begrudged anyone else for celebrating it and don't see why these people do so...
(no subject) - strange_complex - Feb. 14th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Feb. 14th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2008 11:53 am (UTC)
I always consider that Valentines day is a day to prod you - to remind you - not an obligation that must be fullfilled at that time and no other....

Of course - the surprise flower I recived this morning has made me the toast of the office...... and made me smile......
Feb. 14th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
Aw, that's cool! And yeah - of course there's nothing to anyone being affectionate for the rest of the year, but sometimes it's handy to have a reminder.
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Feb. 14th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, I guess that's a bit of a minefield - differing expectations about how the whole thing should be handled. I hope you're able to reach a happy compromise over it.
Feb. 14th, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
Happy Valentine's Day, lovely one - and a pretty post for a pretty day. I suppose it just depends what you do with the day that makes it icky. I mean, there's nothing worse than sitting uncomfortably opposite the beloved in an over-priced restaurant surrounded by equally self-conscious couples wondering why they can't seem to think of anything to say to each other.

Dan and I will be snuggling up in bed with a pizza. It's not the most conventionally romantic thing in the world but it sure it is.
Feb. 14th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I hope you have a lovely time with your pizza - it sounds very romantic to me.
Feb. 14th, 2008 12:11 pm (UTC)
A happy Valentine's Day to you an'all.

You're not the only one who gets teh shudders when contemplating relationships- after the string of disasters that I've had, I'm sticking to beer..
Feb. 14th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And yup, there's a lot to be said for a life of uncomplicated, undramatic singledom... :-)
Feb. 14th, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC)
I don't think you're a cold hearted beeyach... in fact quite the opposite. You seem quite bold, bright and brave from the chats and what I read, so I'm not sure why you have teh fear, but then I can be one to speak sometimes...

Anyway... happy Valentine's day and heres to cheering on the sidelines.... :-)
Feb. 14th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
Aw, bless you! Thanks, and here's to you too!
Feb. 14th, 2008 12:39 pm (UTC)
"frankly the idea of being in a real relationship with another actual human being still gives me The Fear."

There are also lots of people who are too frigtened to be on their own and so spend their days being unhappy in unfulfilling relationships, and who think they have arrived as an adult because they have a partner they can do nothing but moan about.

I quite like valentines day - as you say its a good reminder though it is important to keep up the effort all year round. I do dislike the accompanying commercialism though.
Feb. 14th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
There are also lots of people who are too frightened to be on their own

This is true, and wise. Being single is definitely better than being in a bad relationship.

Hope you're having a better time from your stomach today!
Feb. 14th, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
Happy V Day!
I like to use it as an excuse to do nice things for D (although our anniversary is 26th Jan so they're very close). This year I've bought beanbags and we never do cards - so not very V Day commercialised ;) Although I admit I did get a heart shaped candle on a heart shaped plate to put in the relaxation area I'm sorting today - oops! It's nice though :)
Feb. 14th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
I thought you'd made Donna cards for something or other in the past? Maybe that was your anniversary. Anyway, have a lovely time with your beanbags!
(no subject) - my_mundane_life - Feb. 14th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC)
Well said, I agree totally.
Although...for the first time ever today I was with someone on Valentines day and celebrated it (as much as student budgets would allow) and after spending years dreading the thoughts of emotional participation, it's actually quite fun : D
Feb. 14th, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC)
Cool - glad you are enjoying it!
Feb. 14th, 2008 01:18 pm (UTC)
thank you for the wishes :) And I personally don't absolutely thin you are a cold hearted b eeatch.. you just haven't found THE RIGHT KITTY yet :)))
Feb. 14th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
You're welcome - hope you get in lots of lovely Dan-snuggling today. As for that right kitty - it would certainly be nice if he / she was out there somewhere. I haven't totally lost hope. :-)
(no subject) - swisstone - Feb. 15th, 2008 08:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC)
Happy Valentine's Day to you too!

I've just been amazed by a site one of my colleagues has just shown me, where they were charging twenty five quid for a *single* rose. Going up to £45 for a 'deluxe' rose.

plus £5.95 delivery.

hooyah. That's what I object to. I don't object to doing something nice for my beloved, or having a day to do such. She liked her little bunch of (significantly cheaper) roses from Asda and her hand-made card from EB, who is still young enough to do such things. He'd made sure that his rose picture was the same shade as the actual flowers too, to the point we had to print out several copies of the card until he got it *just* right.

It doesn't *have* to be all commercial. It's all about giving your loved one(s) a big cuddle.
Feb. 14th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
Cor, yeah - that is commercialisation. But you're right - it doesn't have to be like that. A hand-made card can mean so much more, as EB clearly knows! Hope you have a cuddle-filled day.
(no subject) - davesangel - Feb. 14th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dakegra - Feb. 14th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
You're not the only one possessing the fear. It's been so long since my last 'proper' one that I cannot imagine being any way other than single.... and thus I have spent a wonderful last few days being flu-ridden with the wonderful Mark Antony for company :o)
Feb. 14th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
Hey, there are worse ways to spend the time! (Well, apart from the flu, anyway).
Feb. 15th, 2008 08:47 am (UTC)
That's the sweetest Valentine's day post I saw all day.
Feb. 15th, 2008 09:44 am (UTC)
Thanks! Hope you had a good one.
Feb. 15th, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC)
Well said, Dr G. Of course the season is full of commercial nonsense, but then so are all our great modern observances - Halloween, Mother's Day, and, oh, that one that comes in December, slips my mind now. They all express perfectly admirable human needs and responses, and we can all do our bit to wrest them from the maw of international capital. I note that your forebear, the good Dr West, spent the feast of Blessed Valentine (Bp & Mr) copying out the serial numbers of banknotes, which seems to be taking things a bit far, though.
Feb. 16th, 2008 09:47 am (UTC)
Hehe! To be fair to him, he wasn't totally oblivious to the occasion. Remember his little girl, Daisy, who was six years old that day? Well, check out her full name. :-)
Feb. 16th, 2008 11:15 am (UTC)
Thank you for this post - I'm also in fear of being in a relationship with another human being. Its good to know I'm not alone!
Feb. 16th, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)
You're welcome - and good to know I'm not alone in it, either!
(no subject) - ingenious76 - Feb. 16th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Feb. 16th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ingenious76 - Feb. 16th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
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