You're in a record store and you see the 'Michael Bolton Greatest Hits' CD that you know your mum would love (partly because she's a tech phobe who couldn't get onto iTunes). You check your banking app and realise that you have enough money; you wouldn't be overreaching and you'd have plenty to save as she always suggests. Do you:
A) Buy the CD because you know she would love it.
B) Buy it for her but wait until Mother's Day in March (granted March is fast approaching, for this option we'll pretend it's a sunny day in August)
C) Leave the CD because it is neither her birthday nor mother's day nor even Christmas?
I know you're probably thinking that I am going to be comparing an apple to an orange, but just walk with me for a few minutes; we might actually agree that they are both fruits.
Saint Valentine's Day is in less than 24 hours and this year I couldn't bring myself to even pretend that I care. I know what you're thinking... I'm probably single and bitter and/or a cynic.
This year I really wanted to find out what students thought about Valentine's Day as each year figures and stats are released without taking us into consideration; the younger generation that will eventually shape the future of Valentine's Day. As a University of Westminster student, I accepted the challenge of surveying 2,000 students on how they felt about the big V.
Of the 2,000 students that kindly filled in the survey; nearly 61% did not believe in or practice the day, 55% of students thought that Valentine's Day was overrated, 32% believed that the day was more about appreciating your partner, whilst 13% associated it with spending a lot of money.
So why did I bring mothers, specifically mine into this? One of my favourite lyrics is, "I love this way because I got it as a kid," by Common. I don't believe in Valentine's Day because I have been taught to appreciate the ones I love the most every day. I know you're thinking I contradict myself because I must get something for my mum every Mother's day... The truth is I don't - I hope that my mum wakes up every day (not just one) knowing that she is the best mother I could have ever had and that she is loved profusely, the same way your partner should know through the highs and lows that they are appreciated and loved in abundance.
This doesn't mean you have to shower your partner every day with lavish gifts because let's face it, we're students (the poorest demographic in the UK!) and our fathers' first and last names are not Bill and Gates. Yet there are still reasons a lot of people, including students, sadly associate Valentine's Day with spending bags of cash: it is over commercialised; the pressure we put on guys to buy us gifts; the sudden price hike of flowers, mostly Roses, two weeks before V Day (did you just shout out capitalism?)
But one of the main reasons I don't like Valentine's Day stems from the fact that I feel us girls/ladies/women always pick and choose when we want to be equal. Less and less guys are beginning to expect gifts for Valentine's Day as the machine emphasises more on gifts for your lady rather than your man (which I warn you ladies, they have started to pick up on). If we are equal it means that you can't just buy your boyfriend a game of FIFA whilst he is striving to get you the Mulberry bag on sale that you have been constantly hinting for.
This leads to expectations. Girls, I know that if your boyfriend said, "Babe, let's give Valentine's a miss this year, I don't want to celebrate our love on just one day out of the 365 we receive," alarm bells would ring and you would be on the phone to your best friend within minutes trying to decipher exactly what he meant. But why do you need one day to validate your relationship?
What worries me most about our generation is that we are in love with the idea of love and being in love and Valentine's Day doesn't help us fight the reality that relationships are hard work, but this survey might just give us hope.
I'm not here to judge or ban PDA on Valentine's Day. Maybe I'm too young to understand or I just have to wait until I find my very own Mr Big who will make me want to plan our Valentine's years in advance. All I know for now is what my friend once told me; "if you find yourself looking forward to Valentine's Day in a relationship there is something wrong."
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