Well anyone who has been following this blog at all will know that I have not posted here for a while. The main reason for this is because I’m trying to pull all my thoughts and ideas into a cohesive, useable format, and I’m also preoccupied with a few other issues at the moment, and I have not had the necessary time to meditate or reflect on “Huggie-Wuggie” thoughts which usually precedes one of my blog posts here.
However, as this IS Valentine’s Day I could not help thinking a bit about the whole thing, and so I thought I might share a little post about my dream Valentine’s Day.
Because I myself am not in a relationship, I usually blindside the whole thing. It’s not that I deliberately ignore it, or I run away, it’s just that it genuinely does not touch me.
I guess I’ve always assumed that even if I was married, I would not buy into this day beyond the most simple exchange of simple (ideally hand-made) cards, but then I was thinking today that it does not necessarily need to be like that….
Ordinarily speaking, I HATE the idea of the commercial exploitation of human relationships. I DETEST to an unspeakable degree the idea of “showing someone how much you love them” by spending money, and needing to spend at least a certain amount to “pass”. I’ve always hated it at Christmas, I hate how this is now also gradually growing at Easter – and I am totally unimpressed with this at Valentine’s Day. I’d always want a man to know that what I want in our marriage is him, not his money, or any gifts. However because I am not actually married, I’ve never really felt that Valentine’s Day had to touch me, and I’ve always been able to shrug it off. Also, so many Valentine’s Day gifts are just plain tacky and represent no imagination, or wit, or understanding of who the recipient of the gift is to be.
However, as it happened, today I spontaneously thought: “I am going to buy myself some Valentine’s Day chocolates!” Handily there is a small supermarket downstairs, and I had seen some fairtrade chocolates that looked quite nice. On getting downstairs, I was astounded to see that the price of said chocolates had been increased to more than 4 times their usual price. This might be quite usual for Valentine’s Day, but because I’d never previously bought anything for Valentine’s Day, I’d never noticed!
So then after that, I was thinking that perhaps there could be ways to celebrate love, and join in the spirit of the day, without selling out to the crass commercialisation of the day.
First idea – spend no money – at all! Find ways of spending time together with your spouse that are absolutely free, like going for a walk somewhere peaceful (I am of course thinking of a different climate to that of Edinburgh – although we do have a beach – and it wasn’t *too* cold today!) – or watching a movie (one you already own – or borrowing one from friends) – not necessarily a “romantic” one, but one that celebrates life and family and joy. Exchange cards that are hand-made from materials you already have at home, or that you can very easily make
Second idea – spend a little money! – This is probably going to be a little more realistic! If you spend a *tiny* amount of money, then you could cook a nice simple meal together, perhaps make some of your own chocolates by melting down cooking chocolate/eating chocolate and thinking of creative ideas, wrapping with pretty ribbons – the key is that it is all to be handmade. It might be quite fun to see what you could get out of a tiny budget, like say a fiver between you both (in Edinburgh, that would probably get you enough for just a roll of pretty ribbon, without the actual chocolate to get creative with, or any food to prepare as a meal – so the two of you would have to go hungry!)
ALSO another thought that just occurred to me is that you and your spouse could deliberately use Valentine’s Day as a day of service, or prayer for others… I think that sometimes there can be a real danger of running too hard after Christian service, at the expense of investing time and cuddles into your own marriage. However, you do have 364 other days in the year to get lovey-dovey. Perhaps you could subvert the profiteering and artificial intensity of this particular day by using it as a day to serve other people, do babysitting for other people’s kids etc, or just not focus on your own marriage…
In any of these ways you could have lots of fun without letting the commercial pressure of the day take over.
For me, the point of anything romantic would ALWAYS be the chance to spend time together, to talk, to laugh…
I know that I would also resent the idea that my marriage could be defined by this man-made social construct that is Valentine’s Day, and then the “Keeping up with the Joneses” that occurs after it, (especially amongst women?) – “We stayed at the Balmoral Hotel….He took me to Morocco….He sent a taxi crammed full of red roses.” If then, you wanted to have a proper day to actually celebrate love for its own sake (other than your anniversary), then you could always celebrate a month later, say, (when things are back to their normal non-Valentine’s Day prices!) and then it could just be the two of you, and it need not be defined by what anyone else thinks or assumes, or what anyone else suggests to you that your marriage should look like, or how much money the adverts subtly suggest you “should” be spending.
Just a few of my thoughts! 😉
Better is a dinner of herbs[a] where love is,
Than a fatted calf with hatred.
Photo of Crowned Pigeons by Anja Osenberg on Pixabay