Saturday, 14 February 2015

Is Love in the Air? Maybe Next Year...

Like Christmas, it gradually creeps up on you, tip-toeing as gently as one determined to raid the fridge whilst the entire household is fast asleep in bed. You are so absorbed in everything revolving around yourself that you don't bother to glance anywhere other than the revision guides lying on your bed, crying to be read as eagerly as a mediocre copy of 50 Shades of Grey. Then, when there is absolutely no chance of your looking around the room, it hits you harder than a football messing up your oh-so-glamorous hair.

Well, what else could I be talking about? If you dare to give up a minute that would have otherwise been devoted to your Chemistry notes, you will find one very noticeable thing: today's date. A quick glance at your phone or, if your allegiance to One Direction is somehow still going strong (which I'll never ever understand), a calendar, you will discover that today is the fourteenth day of February. Any bells going off yet? Jeez, I'm never going to have a peacefully lazy Saturday - it is Valentine's Day!

Obviously, I'll leave you to the wild shock that will rush through you like a caffeine rush from a can of Red Bull for a moment or two because, possibly like yourself, I cannot believe that Valentine's Day is here. I, a lover of all things lovely, should be screaming with excitement that the only day in the year dedicated to love, chocolates and fluffy teddy bears is taking place right now - how is it possible that I'm not so touched by all this giddiness like I was a year ago?

To my advantage, I think that I have an answer to that question: it is a bit meaningless to me now. Like my childhood passion for half-naked Bratz dolls (though, for the sake of being allowed to buy them, I overlooked their rather revealing dresses), I feel immune to the power that Valentine's Day used to have over me, no longer encouraged by its persuasiveness to make me devour a handful of chocolate truffles.

In a similar way to Christmas, it annoys me that the meaning of love is associated with the colour red, bigger-than-your-bedroom cards and expensive lingerie that would literally put you in the red (though clearly not for romantic reasons!). In my opinion, I don't want love to be defined by what shops and its influenced society believe it should be; if I had to describe love, I would call it original because nothing can compete with it, whereas purchasing the bouquet of roses nearest the Asda entrance is hardly so.

Yes, you can bet that I'll be an absolute pain to satisfy when I get a boyfriend, but it is your role to accept all the qualities and disadvantages of your loved one - no questions asked. A day is a day, and I don't believe that everyone should be pressurised into following it, especially when all the card shops in town pull out all the stops to gain your custom. Love is worth so much more than a so-called 'luxurious' bottle of wine from M&S and a steak which, as you've probably guessed it, is also included in their meal deals. Being bombarded with images of what marketing executives think that love should be is really frustrating because you are racked with sadness if you don't live up to it.

Although sixteen can sometimes been seen as young age to be at the centre of a romantic tale, it doesn't stop my peers and those younger than me from forging relationships. And, you've guessed it, there were plenty of giggles and excitement when roses were handed over to several lucky recipients in form yesterday, sent by a 'secret admirer'. Despite not having an ounce of jealousy for those recipients, I feel that love is a personal thing which is at its natural best when contained between the two people alone, where all feelings can be displayed without a bunch of Year 7s oohing about it among themselves. If the secret admirer had considered that possibility, maybe he would have saved the rose for later...

Above all, 14th February doesn't really mean much to me. Sure, it looks and sounds like a nice day to be born on, yet I suppose that I have yet to be touched by its romantic powers - instead of the let's-gorge-on-chocolate ones! Next year might be a completely different story which, of course, would a thrilling tale to tell, but I won't fall head over heels for the commercialised image of Valentine's Day. Still, do I have the heart to say no to a cuddly teddy bear? No way!

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