Thursday, 14 February 2013

Love Song

“I'm not gonna write you a love song
'cause you tell me it's
Make or break in this
If you're on your way
I'm not gonna write you to stay
If all you have is leaving I'm gonna need a better
Reason to write you a love song today”

Love Song – Sara Bareilles

Merry Valentine’s Day, my friends!

It is one of my least favourite days of the year. It’s not because my own Valentine’s Day currently involves sitting on the floor watching Miranda with a bowl of ice cream and caramel sauce alongside my two best friends following our date at Nandos and the closest thing to a Valentine’s gift was a bar of chocolate my workmate bought me and the closest flowers consisted of instructions to water the cactus a colleague was leaving behind after his last day. I mean, it’s not like I’m a lonely singleton or anything.

I actually like the idea of having one day to celebrate romance; it’s much like we have one day for more commercial occasions like Mother’s day and Father’s day, and much like we celebrate traditional holidays such as Christmas and Easter. What annoys me about Valentine’s Day is the sickeningly sweet gestures one is expected to give to another. Call me ridiculous, but I want to receive a rose every day of the year except Valentine’s Day, and I want to go on some sweet date any day that isn’t the 14th of February.

I feel Sara Bareilles hit the right note with this song. It is said to be written as a defiant response to her record company who wanted her to produce a marketable love song. Considering Valentine’s Day is all about marketing and commercial exploitation to people who, let’s be honest, don’t really want to give their other half box of heart shaped chocolates wrapped in pink paper, I feel the song and the day go hand in hand. I mused over this last year with Ronan Keating, and I still stand by what I said about ditching the commercial side of the day and focusing on the tradition. The day is meant to be a celebration of the early Christian Saint Valentinus of Martyrology, who incidentally was rumoured to have been imprisoned for performing forbidden weddings, thus going against all the tradition which should be have been involved with love and weddings.

As you see, the idea of Valentine’s Day is a conflict for me; I’m torn between liking the thought of giving and showing love, and hating the idea of giving ridiculously cutesy verging of vomit inducing gifts of little use (another teddy bear, anyone?). However, if you were lucky enough to receive a wonderful and thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift, do tell me what you got – and how much it meant to you.

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