There’s a strange air that’s crept over Valentine’s Day, and I’m wondering if it’s just me that is bemused by it. Certainly when I was younger, the concept of Valentine’s Day seemed more enshrined in being a festival for lovers and would-be lovers. There was a certain degree of commercialism to it even going back thirty or so years ago, but it didn’t seem to have the footprint that it does today.
Now I see people wishing general “Happy St Valentine’s Day” to all and sundry on Facebook or in general media, which seems to give the event something more of the commercialised general feel of Christmas. I have to admit I have mixed feelings about this.
On the one hand, there’s something nice about a festival that celebrates the concept of romantic love – after all in South Korea, I’m told, the fourteenth of every month is themed around a different aspect of love. On the other hand though there’s something slightly impersonal about adopting the wider greeting that I find jarring.
The societal norm that I grew up with is one where if you say “Happy Valentine’s Day”, you actually mean it. I know I’m not alone in this. Over the years I’ve ventured the occasional greeting to people as an experiment and had a range of reactions from the “slightly dismissive” to the “prickly backing away” to choose from. As a result I now don’t make the more general “season’s greetings” type of greeting at all, even though I know others who do.
That said, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I hope this year’s Valentine’s Day is a pleasant one for you and that you are able to be with whoever you love, however you love them.