Earlier this week I wrote a new blog post. It was a post about Valentines Day and the gifts that a man can buy for his Mrs. A post about the gifts a baby/child could buy their mothers. That post won’t be published, despite the fact that it was ready to go. Since I finished writing it, I couldn’t bring myself to make it live, to share it with the world. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It felt so fake. A post of gift ideas just because. The gifts were cheap and tacky, thoughtless and pointless, and the post became a bid to earn a few extra quid. Every day that has passed since has made me feel guilty for having even thought about creating such a trivial post. That is not what Monsterful Mama is about. It’s not why I created this blog. I didn’t start this blog to make a quick buck. So instead I’m writing what might be considered a controversial post. It’s not an anti-Valentines Day post as such, more like an anti-commercialism post. Blog suicide? Maybe but honest in every word.
Since I was little, about 8 years old, I’ve understood that Valentines Day should be about spending money on the ones we love. I’ve bought presents and cards because that’s what we’re told we should do. Even at a young age at school, we give children activities around the day, making your mum or dad a card, maths activities about how many presents Tiffany received one year etc. but that’s another post altogether. I’ve gone to restaurants that were full to the rafters and so loud that you couldn’t actually hear the person you chose to spend the day with talking. If I wasn’t in a relationship, I would feel like crap. Like I wasn’t worth real love. Clubs and bars would put on singles nights with girls going free or something similar because on Valentines Day all girls are desperate for love. We’re made to feel like we’ve somehow failed. Failed to procure a mate, a life partner as is our basic natural instinct supposedly. As I grew up, each year spent as a single person became even more depressing. No red roses arriving at my work place, no box of chocolates in the shape of heart, no jewellery, no marriage proposal of the grandest declaration of love. It can be heartbreaking for someone who is not in a relationship, but why? Why do we spend a fortune proclaiming our love for that special someone only one day out of 365? Why are we made to feel like crap if we have nobody to spend it with?
Did you know (according to evolutionmoney.co.uk) that on average, men spent at least £40 last year on their partners? Whereas the average spend for women was £24. What on earth is costing so much? For the average heterosexual couple that’s at least £64. The UK spent nearly £1bn in 2017 alone. It seems like it is not a simple card and flowers/chocolates anymore. It’s not a day to proclaim your love but to proclaim how much money you can spend on unnecessary rubbish. It is becoming (or maybe it’s always been this way and I’ve been to blind to see it) a sordid affair. The idea of a day of love is fast becoming more about a day of lust and commonly shops are selling more tacky and sexual gifts. When I first bought into Valentines day I don’t recall seeing gift cards/vouchers referring to a ‘quick blowie’. Spending money on vouchers for sexual favours says nothing about your love for your partner. To me, it says more about how desperate a person is to hold onto that partner, for what I can only assume is the fear of being alone this Valentines Day, by being sexually ‘easy’.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a prude, I’m just not sure how this Christian holiday became so horrid. You may not know this but I am an atheist. I don’t believe – full stop. That being said I truly wonder how many ‘youngsters’ (I hate that word. It makes me feel so old!) actually know the true meaning behind the day. Do they really know why we celebrate Saint Valentines Day?
Saint Valentine was a roman priest during the Emperor Claudias II time (268–270AD). The emperor wasn’t exactly a champion of the christian faith and had prohibited the marriage of young people based on one simple idea. Unmarried men made better soldiers. He believed that they would fight better because they had no worries back home. No wife and children that would suffer should the soldier die. Unfortunately for the emperor, Valentine was all about marriage and was encouraging people to get married in secret. For this he was imprisoned, tortured by being beaten and stoned and eventually beheaded. There were many stories surrounding the man, stories of healing the blind through prayer. February 14th 269AD, Valentine was made a martyr, not for love, but for the holy sacrament of marriage. Marriage was something very different back then, love often wasn’t a feature. Later, he became the saint we celebrate every year. Now, I know this isn’t quite the romantic story you were all expecting but that’s commercialism for you. Beheaded saints won’t sell cards or gifts emblazoned with red hearts. Now, we celebrate this mans death with sexual favours vouchers, teddy bears, flowers and chocolates. I’m not religious in the slightest but I am pretty sure he would be a bit miffed by this.
Of course, this post could quite easily become a rant about commercialism, and it kind of is in its own way already, but instead I want to focus on other ways we can celebrate the day. I know people who know me personally will probably be reading this and screaming at their screens because they know me, and they know I do still celebrate this day. I have bought cards for my husband from my daughter and I this year as it is our first Valentines Day as parents (another way they get you drawn into it!), I even buy him gifts and I always write a soppy status. However, what I do do, is buy into the gifts that are made specifically for this day. I buy my hubby things he actually likes or wants. This year was Monster Hunter Online ( a cheeky gift as I wanted it too!) and a Venom comic. I know he would much rather I buy him things like this than silly teddy bears etc. He isn’t much of a card person, and I do have to remind him to buy me one but I thought it would be cute to get him a card from Zosia this year. I know he hopes that he will be the only man in her life (no dating till your 30yo kind of thing!) I spend every day, a hundred times over, telling my husband that I love him, showing him by trying to keep a tidy house and a happy daughter whilst he works hard for our family. I don’t NEED one day a year to let him know I love him because he know I do, I said ‘I Do’ in 2016.
What I am trying to say (I think…) is that it doesn’t have to be about splashing the cash, it doesn’t even have to be about just you and your partner. There are a million ways you can ‘spread the love’ to those who might need it a bit more. Be mindful of others. Be grateful for what you have. Share what you can. Spend time with those that matter but most importantly, make sure your little ones know that Valentines Day isn’t a big deal. Make sure they understand that we don’t need one day to say I love you to each other.
Thanks for reading,
Peace and Love,