Valentines is upon us people. And if there is one thing that I truly hate, it is Valentine's day. I hate it so much that my boyfriend even asked me if we were allowed to see each other on Tuesday 14 February.
Of course, we should all show some love to our partners, family, friends - anyone who means anything to you. Not just on one day, but every day. You should be able to show someone you care about that you really do appreciate them any time you want. Not when it is prescribed to you. Especially when it is merely to line the pockets of some fat cat at the top.
When I was little we had 'Mother Valentines' - a mythical woman who would knock at the door as dusk settled. Once we opened the door, no one would be there and two small presents would be laid out on the floor with my brother's name and I. They would never be anything spectacular - a colouring book and some chocolate. But my brother and I loved getting them, and it meant our parents could spoil us without us really getting it. So I haven't always been so anti-valentines.
These days, relationships and love are valued on money and material things. Relationships are like a fashion accessory. Big weddings follow short marriages - and it is likely that it will be these people that spend too much money on a heart-shaped necklace to show their affection.
We have all seen the adverts - roses bought by men to give to their female lovers, heart-shaped bowls so that a candlelit dinner can be served up and expensive restaurant deals so you are wined and dined - all with a ridiculously high price tag. Real love is priceless.
Valentine's Day epitomises the capitalist culture which consumes us all and manipulates us into buying something we don't want nor need. Why is it that on 14 February every year we all have to act like we adhere to typical gender stereotypes that should be entirely redundant these days anyway? Many of these stereotypes only came about because someone somewhere wanted us to buy their product. There is nothing worse than assuming that all a girl is looking for in life is a man to love.
Probably the most offensive thing around Valentines is its sheer neglect of anyone that isn't white and middle-class. Companies up and down the land manage to show homophobic and trans-phobia streaks by completely ignoring anyone other than those in a heterosexual relationship.
People should be able to show they love each other by surprising them with a gift or dinner when they want, not because it is prescribed to them. But more importantly, people should just be able to show they love each other through their sheer affection - presents are nice but don't represent their love for each other.
As for my Valentines, I'm taking my rabbit to the vets. And who said romance is dead?!
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