Don’t worry, folks. This isn't going to be like my Christmas blog.
For starters, I actually like Christmas.... no but really, this isn't going to be a rant.
The ‘Big Day’ hits us next Thursday, meaning that since mid-January (but especially noticeable this week) we have been subjected to red envelopes, an overkill of hearts and teddybears, and a load of largely useless and slightly trashy love-related gifts. Including, for instance, a piece of plastic which promises to stamp hearts into your toast. Hearts? On a piece of toast? Come on. It’s not exactly a handy gadget, is it?
I'm sure I'm in no way alone in inwardly wanting to vom at this overbearing display of genuine (and not-so-genuine) affection for one’s Valentine. A phrase from our beloved Single Lady (no, not Bridget Jones – the other one) – Miranda – has been circling through my mind the last few days: “I don’t know who Saint Valentine was, but I hope that he died alone, surrounded by couples”. Fair play.
And I know what you’re all thinking. Especially you couples/married ones. “This has ‘Bitter Singleton’ written all over it”. And due to this not being the case, I feel the need to set the message straight. Firstly, Valentines as an idea is really sweet. And yes, I'm sure Valentine’s season would be less overbearing if I had a hot date lined up and roses delivered to the door, but even with that alternative reality, there is something undeniably superficial, disingenuous perhaps, about the Valentines season. This is at least partly to do with the fact that (and NO, this is not bitterness speaking), it has become such a big deal through the fuelling of the ‘season’ by card shops, gift shops, flower shops, restaurants, hotels etc. Kind of like the way Christmas has been taken over. Except (and yes, this is bitterness speaking), Christmas is not an exclusive holiday where one is meant to feel happy or sad depending on whether they have been given a card saying ‘Bee Mine’ (cringe).
It’s not like Valentines is still just a quaint way of telling someone that you like them, or reminding someone that you love them. I was in a card shop today and saw two different cards which simply read – no joke – “Your willy makes me happy”. REALLY, people?!! Come on. We were made for more than this.
If Valentines is about two people who deeply love each other (and, preferably, can express that without sucking each other’s face’s off in public), then I'm all for it. It’s sweet and how can you not be happy when two people fall in love?
However, if and when Valentines is about finding a randomer to send a card/pair of knickers to, ‘because it’s Valentines’, then all that does is expose our desperate need to be wanted and desired.
That’s an understandable human emotion. But why go searching in that way when all the love you ever needed is available to you? I know someone who has loved you since before the creation of the world, and showed it by giving Himself up so that we could know Him and know His love. That might not feel as ‘warm and fuzzy’ as receiving a red envelope next Thursday, but it surely counts for a heck of a lot more.