Love in the Time of Commercialism

Hello my lovely little cabbages. I must apologise because I’ve been a bit remiss in posting recently – I’ve been distressingly busy and spent all my free time either napping or lying face down on the floor groaning. Ross had to threaten to return my boots (which were a gift to myself for starting and maintain a blog) to spur me into action. And let’s be honest, I can’t really let this date go past with some kind of personal commentary now, can I?

Now, as you may or may not be aware (though if you’re not you must have managed to avoid going into any shop anywhere for the last two weeks – bloody hearts everywhere!) today is Valentine’s Day. On the whole, I’ve always been a bit of a misog at heart and have never really enjoyed this particular international revel. When you’re single, I like to think the more appropriate title is “Single Awareness Day” which I remember celebrating a few years ago by visiting a Starbucks in Manchester with some friends and having a cup of hot chocolate over a romantic tea light, and when you’re in a relationship, it mainly just induces panic buying and an influx of unnecessary expenses.

xkcd

This is an Xkcd comic (for which I take no credit) that I find hilariously relevant each year. If I actually had to be serious and do presents and giant romantic gestures, I would definitely end up with my hand stapled to my face.

Thankfully the Man Muffin isn’t too fussed about Valentine’s Day (or at least that’s what he tells me…) and we let the occasion slide by without a hoohar. There was the year he brought me a giant card and a cuddly puppy toy holding a heart with the express purpose of making me cringe (and possibly testing the boundaries of my conviction to avoidance) but we try not to talk about that because it gives me the heebie-jeebies. I think he probably wouldn’t mind celebrating if I were that type of girl, but I’ve told him to count his blessings that I don’t expect him to go through the seemingly typical rigmarole of standing in line at Pandora being eyed up by the bouncer in order to buy me an overpriced and tasteless charm for a bracelet I’ll never wear…Gosh you can just feel my distaste through the screen, can’t you?!

Now, I really wanted to be snotty and annoying (which I often do) I could give you a brief history of the day. I could talk about how Valentine was actually a Christian who was arrested and shipped of to Emperor Claudius II in Rome for aggressively bigging up Christianity, and although originally liked by the emperor, he was eventually condemned to death by being beaten with clubs and finally beheaded. I mean, what says “I love you” like celebrating the day a man was brutally killed for expressing his religious beliefs by pandering to money making schemes wrapped in a gaudy red bow?

But I shan’t do that. Because that would be petty and I am a mature and responsible lady now. Honest.

However, what I will do is admit that I am one of those annoying people who belongs to the judgey hipster crowds that thinks if you’re in a relationship when you like each other enough to buy gifts, you might as well do it whenever the hell you feel like it rather than waiting for a specific day. Ross buys me flowers just because he seems them in the shop and thinks they look pretty, which I think is bloody lovely. There’s no commitment to a date or panicked responsibilities, there’s just a lovely little bouquet on the front seat of the car and a sheepish smile on his face when he picks me up from work on a random Wednesday night.

So after those last two paragraphs it might not sound like it, but I am actually happy for other people to do Valentine’s Day however they want. If you want a certain day full of rose petals and heart shaped chocolates and helium balloons with tiny naked Cupid butts on them, you just go right ahead. I’m going to just sit in the side lines and wait for all the shiny banners and stupidly oversized cards to make way for the truly vomit-inducing amount of Easter Eggs that I know are hiding in the stockrooms.

Perhaps somewhat hypocritically though, I am completely and irrevocably in love with the notion of Galentine’s Day. Originating from Parks and Rec (still one of the best programs ever, don’t even doubt it) it’s a day when you get to joyously celebrate your gal pals (please be aware I equally encourage boys to celebrate their lady friends in a non-romantic way, and also girls and boys to celebrate their male chums in a Palentine’s celebration, or maybe a Guyentine?). Mainly I think I’ve been drawn in by the “code” – Hoes before Bros. Ovaries before Broveries. Uteruses before Duderuses and the excuse to get my mum some truly tasteless gifts (just you wait Mother, I’ve got a great one for you this weekend).

parksvalentine1galentines-day

These pictures are brought to you by the show Parks and Rec and the goddess that is Leslie Knope. #KnopeforPresident

Though I suppose in the end it doesn’t matter either way whether or not I like Valentine’s more or less than Galentine’s, or indeed if anybody else does. It’s just about being generally lovely and delightful to each other and spending a little time whenever you can to make sure your nearest and dearest know you love them, especially in a world that’s getting scarier by the minute.

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