It is not every year that I appreciate Valentine’s Day. I have been in relationships and hated Valentine’s Day; I have been single and hated Valentine’s Day. I have railed against the corporatization of love and romance and how Valentine’s Day is, largely, a marketing holiday designed to exploit rank consumerism. I have rolled my eyes at commercials for shopping mall jewelry stores because I know for a fact that every kiss does not begin with Kay.
This year, I am surrendering to Valentine’s Day – willingly. It is far too exhausting to invest so much energy in disliking a holiday that, at its purest, is designed to celebrate love.
I have never been married. I don’t know if I will ever marry, though I hope to. When I am asked why I have not married, I explain that my parents have been happily married for 42 years. The bar feels so very high for that kind of commitment.
I could instead confess that, for far too long, I was in love with the idea of love – the idea that you could find someone who would love you back and do so unconditionally; that they would love you perfectly and would always sweep you off your feet; and that once you found love, all would be right with the whole of your world. I read too many romance novels during my formative years. I have a penchant for romantic comedies. I understand why Romeo and Juliet came to such a pass.
I was in love with the idea of love, so I created elaborate fictions for my relationships – fictions that allowed me to believe that what any given paramour and I shared looked a lot like love. I would say, “I love you” as if the words were currency, as if they could force the objects of my affection to genuinely reciprocate those feelings. Things always, inevitably, fell apart in these relationships.
Or I could confess that I used to take romantic advice very seriously. I believed in things like “the rules”. I did not imagine then that love could be improbable, unexpected, extraordinarily messy. I knew things about love and I knew these things with certainty, and anything that contradicted what I knew about love I believed could not possibly be true. Now I know love and I know nothing about love. Everything I once knew with certainty means nothing at all.
I love but I am not entirely sure how to be loved, how to be seen and known for the utterly flawed woman I am. It demands surrender. It demands acknowledging that I am not perfect but, perhaps, I deserve affection anyway.
Sometimes, strangers say that they love me, and I cringe because they cannot possibly feel so intensely about me. Or, at least, that’s what I tell myself, though I have to allow for the possibility that perhaps they do love me. I must respect that they are choosing their words. I must surrender to that, too.
Love is a powerful emotion and it is a powerful word, but we often use it so carelessly. “I love Channing Tatum”, I like to say because I am very fond of his persona and his looks. (My goodness, I am fond of that neck.) But do I love him, in the truest sense of the word? I do not. I love my phone. I love this pair of shoes I saw the other day. I love sleep. There are degrees of love, I suppose.
I don’t know that I will ever stop being careless in how I use the word love; I don’t mind such recklessness. But, when I use the word with care, my intent is clear. When I use the word, I feel certainty even if that certainty stands on fragile ground. I am saying I see you and you see me and I am terrified and I am exhilarated and I refuse to look away.
“Must, bid the Morn awake!
Sad Winter now declines,
Each bird doth choose a mate;
This day's Saint Valentine's.
For that good bishop's sake
Get up and let us see
What beauty it shall be
That Fortune us assigns”
Valentine’s Day is an international festival that celebrates the feeling of love. Saint Valentine’s Day is celebrated each year on the 14th February and marks the death anniversary of one of the Christian legends, Saint Valentine. In most of the first world countries, February 14 is considered as a national holiday. Valentine’s Day has especially come to become a day made for lovers. Even in the media, Valentine’s Day is portrayed as a day meant for lovers. However, Valentine’s Day has a much larger appeal. It is a day to express love and that love can be for anyone and not specially a lover.
What does Valentine’s Day means? Saint Valentine was a total of 14 saints who laid out their life for Ancient Rome. However, some people believe that the Valentine’s Day is a tribute to only one of these fourteen saints. In Christian culture, a big feast is organized on Valentine’s Day to commemorate the day of burial of Saint Valentine and to celebrate their love for their land and their martyrdom. Thus, the very reason why Valentine’s Day is celebrated has nothing to do with the love between two lovers. However, owing to popular culture, Valentine’s Day has come to become a day when a man is supposed to express his feelings for a woman and a woman is supposed to do the same.
What does Valentine Day really stand for? The Valentine’s Day is a celebration of that feeling called Love. Love between lovers (man and his woman) may be the most celebrated kind. However, love of all kind is beautiful and thus, needs to celebrate. Valentine’s Day is celebrated to pay a tribute to Saint Valentine who gave away his life for the cause of love. Valentine’s Day stands for love. So, on this Valentine’s Day, if you do not have a girlfriend or a boyfriend, do not start to feel sad. Instead, search out your life and find people who truly loved, in any form and in any way, and say thank you to them for being there with you when you needed them.
This Valentine’s Day, if you are a wife, express your love to your husband. However, do not forget to express your love to those other people who are also important in your life. Look beyond the commercialization of Valentine’s Day. This is the day to thank people, whosoever they are, for being there in your life and being there with you when you needed them. To start with, thank your parents for the love that they have given you is above every other kind of love in the world. Thank them for making you the person that you are. Buy them gifts and write messages to them that would make them feel happy.
Next, say thank you to your partner for being there with you in times of highs and lows. If they have stood by you through thick and thin and have always been on your side and made efforts to make you happy, it only means that they love you a lot and thus, their love needs to be cherished and appreciated. A good way to appreciate everything that they have done for you is to buy them something that they would love and cherish. Also, you can tell them how you feel about them by simply telling them how you feel.
On Valentine’s Day, one should also thank their friends. Friends are people who keep their faith in us even when everyone else seems to be losing theirs in us. Friends are those people who understand those problems of ours that our family, parents or partners do not understand. Thus, every Valentine’s Day every person should thank their friends. Do things for them that they would like and appreciate and would make them feel good.
Lastly, since Valentine’s Day is all about love, one should make it a point to spread love around them. On this Valentine’s Day, do something that would make people around you feel happy. Do something for the little kids around you who do not have anyone to take care of them. Similarly, a person can go to a old age home and do something for the old people who also do have anybody left in the world to call their own. Valentine’s Day is all about showing and expressing your love and doing things that would make someone feel that they are loved. Spreading love is what Valentine’s Day is all about.
For such topics of Basic understanding on the subject matter which will keep you motivated to crack GD & PI at CAT 2018, NMAT, XAT, SNAP and forthcoming exams ATMA, MAHCET, CMAT 2019 along with various other state specific MBA entrance tests. This would also be useful for WAT, Extempore speaking, Essays.