A 'How-Not-To-Style-Your-Life' Guide

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Why I Don't Hate Valentine's Day Anymore


As I woke up this morning, nursing a hangover and the dull agony of post-wisdom teeth extraction, the last thing I wanted to see when I checked my phone was the date. The 14th of February. The second most unnecessary thing about this month after the silent ‘r’.

As a 19-year-old man-child on the cusp of adulthood, there are a few things that I fully understand. I know how to construct the perfectly balanced Pok√©mon team, I know how to manipulate a slightly relevant quotation into supporting the argument of an essay and I know the speed at which I must talk on Snapchat to fit my sentences into 10-second time constraints. A strong CV, I know. There are, however, a few things that I think I understand, some that I don’t even claim to understand and many that will evade me until the sun burns out. Most of the latter are number related. I have a very language-orientated brain. I have no idea what a surd is and frankly I don’t want to know.

Something that I really thought I understood was the concept of Valentine’s Day. Having been single for nearly a year and possessing a rather checkered and dubious history with the male species, it’s been all too easy for me to adopt the classic anti-Valentine ‘all men are arseholes and I will never find my Mr Darcy’ mentality. Don’t get me wrong, I still indulge in this angsty teenage stereotype from time to time (whilst I still can), but recently I think my attitudes have started to change.

I can’t help but pick up on an innate scepticism that emanates from millennial culture. As a forward-thinking and progressive generation that strives for equality and social justice, there’s no doubt that we’re aware of the flaws of our predecessors. Frankly, we don’t have a choice; we must be to avoid the mistakes that have been made in the past. Before now, I’ve noticed an awful lot of cynicism towards the materialistic intentions behind Valentine’s Day as a result of consumer culture. “It’s just a way for Clintons and Paperchase to make money” is something I’ve definitely heard a few times. As I saw @morgancrawf point out on Twitter, it seems as if people make a point of taking their anger towards capitalism out on Valentine’s Day as opposed to all of the other heavily materialised holidays. “CATCH U UNWRAPPIN PREZZIES ON XMAS MORNIN THO”. Couldn’t have said it better myself.


I’m biting my tongue as I write this because I’m well aware that I’ve been known to spout this pretentious drivel in the past. I’ve never spent Valentine’s Day itself with a significant other regardless of whether or not I was in a relationship because I didn’t think I “believed” in it. My Timehop alone tells me that for two consecutive years I’ve spent the day with my long-term best friend, shying away from all things romantic. Even if Valentines is a way for card shops to capitalise on our emotions, it’s also a way to make someone happy by giving them one of those cards and a cute teddy bear for good measure. It’s also a good excuse to have sex. If you feel like you don’t need a designated day to demonstrate how much you love your partner, good for you. Whoopty-bloody-doo. What there’s no need for, though, is passing judgment on those who don’t have the opportunity or money to make huge romantic gestures every day.

For the longest time I tried to put up the classic Tumblr misanthropic, cold-hearted front. Recently I’ve accepted that I’m an old romantic who loves people and enjoys seeing them happy much more than seeing them sad. For me, Valentine’s Day isn’t limited to simply romantic love. I spent last night surrounded by friends at a Valentines-themed party (where the dress code was ‘on the pull’) and later tonight I’m going to call my Mum, even though I saw her only yesterday. I’m fortunate to have many forms of love in my life and I think I’ve reached a point where I’m glad that I can take one day out of the year to celebrate that and count my many blessings.

SORRY PETER PAN, BUT I THINK I MIGHT BE GROWING UP AFTER ALL.
As always, I’d love to hear from you guys about your thoughts on Valentine’s Day and whether you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said in this post! ON TODAY OF ALL DAYS, DON’T FORGET TO SPREAD THE LOVE, MY FRIENDS.
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3 comments

  1. You sound like you were literally born to write. All of your blog posts are so well written! I also love your outlook on Valentines Day, I wish more people took the approach that love comes in many different forms.

    Emily - www.positivelystupendous.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, that really is the highest of compliments! I'm so glad you see where I'm coming from. I can understand some scepticism and bitterness but love is love and we shouldn't be afraid to celebrate it!

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