Yesterday was Galentine’s day, Valentine’s little sister, celebrating the love between friends. (It was invented by the creators of Parks and Recreations back in 2010 and celebrates friendly love on the13th of February) And as luck would have it, even though it was Friday the 13th, I spent some time with a very good friend.
She even surprised me with a Valentine’s day gift – a pink bag filled with a surprise and a card. I was stunned and touched, especially since I didn’t have anything for her, and felt very much loved.
And when I looked out of my window this morning, there standing proud amongst the crocuses and snowdrops was my very first daffodil, a loving gift from mother nature.
In a few days time our world with be swamped in red, pink and purple. Flowers are being bought by the dozen, red envelopes fill the postman’s bag and boxes of chocolates are flying of the supermarket shelves.
On Valentine’s day the whole world celebrates couplely love, and some do seem to feel a little smug when carrying their bouquets or floating heart-shaped balloons when leaving the office or getting on a bus.
For many this day and week is a reminder of their single status, which some aren’t too happy about. But maybe they should just see this red-rose-day as a a celebration of people who are special to you, if they happen to be your partner -wonderful – but if they are your friend or family, celebrate that too! After all love comes in all shapes and sizes and we don’t celebrate it often enough.
With that in mind I challenge you to send a card to someone other than the man or woman you wake up next to every morning. If you are more generous maybe even buy a flower, a chocolaty treat or maybe a cup coffee and to show them that you care.
As singers/songwriters Hal David and Burt Bacharach said so well in their song:
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
The world seems to have fallen into a paint bucket, a pink and red one at that. An explosion of pastel pinks and fuchsia reds has given birth to lovesick window dressings all in honour of cupids hay-day and his empty quiver.
But for other singletons like myself Valentine’s Day doesn’t always feel quite as cheery and the sudden need to devour whole selection boxes of chocolate may fill the hole in our bellies but not in our hearts. However the benefits of being single means you don’t need to sit in overcrowded busses protecting roses or stand in line for a love-themed dinner out.
A survey done by Psychology Today two years ago shows that 40% of people, regardless whether they are single or not, have negative feelings towards Valentine’s Day. This could largely have to do with how advertisers and marketing experts have shaped the way we perceive the day. Knowing that everyone is tugging at our pockets to get their share of this 14 billion dollar industry, which is suppose to celebrate the day of Love, may turn sweet to sour.
And then there are our expectancies which are bound to be disappointed. The petrol station flowers instead of the bouquet of red roses, the box of Cadburys not Belgian truffles, the silver bracelet instead of that longed for diamond ring. Somehow our hopes get shattered turning us from lovers into haters, even if only secret ones.
The best thing to possibly do is to re-frame the situation. Remember that Valentine’s Day is NOT a test on your relationship, nor does it mean that you are doomed to eat chocolate on your own for the rest of your life. And since it is always better to smile instead of frown, put on those pink shades and give Valentine’s Day a positive spin. Think pink, not grey or blue , but a much more happy hue!
PS: look at the shoes Kay Thompson is wearing at around 2.20min, they are on my “want-list”