If the marketing people would have you believe it, millions of people will be making all sorts of extra effort to woo, appease, or apologise to their existing or soon-to-be significant others today. All because convention and expectation pressures them into it. If they don’t do something, they will be seen as lazy – if they do, they may even be seen as wasting money.
As ever, I’m going to sit on the fence about it. I don’t have faith in any religion, but I buy my children Christmas presents. The reason? It’s as good excuse as any. Valentines Day is slightly different though – because buying presents for people as you might at Christmas is not (and should not be) an every-day activity, but showing affection for others really should be.
It’s worth pointing out that the Christian church tried to outlaw Valentine’s Day in the 5th Century. It’s an age old tactic that organised religion has played repeatedly throughout history. There was a pre-existing pagan festival (Lupercalia), which the Church tried to erase by promoting something else at the same time. The same thing happened with Easter, and Christmas. If you don’t believe me, go pick up any history book that doesn’t come from the religion section.
It’s a fairly normal night in our household. I got in from work after cycling home through persistent rain (cycling one-handed with a bunch of flowers – quite a feat when your brakes are wet), immediately started washing up around my other half who was cooking dinner, and made conversation with our house guest for the night – a friend of our youngest who is staying for a sleepover. Our eldest is at a sleepover out of town – I’m deliberately not commenting about that.
After suggesting that I might have a surprise in my work backpack, the children all ate their dinner – rather miraculous, given that it was a vegetable pasta bake. When I retrieved a box of chocolates from my bag, their efforts at “eating their greens” were paid off. I have never seen a box of chocolates vanish so quickly.
Fast forward a couple of hours and all the children are now in bed. I have no doubt they are all still wide awake, and will be squinting their eyes shut when I go up shortly.
It’s just another day really, isn’t it. Don’t listen to the marketing morons. All that really happened between yesterday and today is the ball of mud we’re all standing on travelled a little bit further around the fairly ordinary star it orbits.