February 13th, 2015
This is something new on this forum. Here are some thoughts of mine on the 14th of Feb, on the significance of this day for me. In short I don't care at all about it and cannot understand what the fuss is about. I don't necessarily discount the essential emotions to which it refers, although I do think that we make too much of them. I do, however, have severe reservations against the commercial nature of it and against the general expectations which come with it.
Let's begin with the latter and destroy some fake romantic ideas here. This is yet another day which has been designed so that you will be subconsciously compelled to buy shit. Like Christmas, new year's, mother's day, friendship day, this is just another day to squeeze out a little more from your wallets. The feeling behind it, although may be seen as noble by itself, nevertheless merely ends up gettingÂ cynically used up by the market forces. Since almost everybody around youÂ is consumed by the madness of valentine's day, you feel compelled to join in asÂ well. The social expectations end up forcing you to do things that you might not have done by yourself. But there is a very high probability that that is your entire life anyway so I won't dwell upon it too much.
Then comes my other objection to this special day but before I state my objection I should mention the following. I think in life it is important to strive to be happy and one of the sure shot ways of successfully going about it is finding aÂ well adjusted human being, with whom oneÂ has some things in common, as a companion. And on finding such a person, compromising, if need be, on pretty much all other expectationsÂ because they are not important. The current dating climate fails these simple rules on two accounts. First, a distinct lack of well adjusted human beings in society. It seems that nutcases are running wild crashing into other nutcases in bars and on dating websites and apps (like chickens running around with their heads cut off; if you've seen one you'd understand the apt and inspired comparison). Second, the culture of compromising, settling for what one has, and not always being in search of something better, is slowly dying away with the passing of a generation which didn't just sit around on itsÂ ass over-analyzing its love life. Nutcases + greed, that's theÂ perfect recipe for long term dissatisfaction. And this day plays very well on these two shortcomings of the modernÂ society. This day helpsÂ to create a vile and devious fiction, that one'sÂ love life is extremelyÂ important. This day is the distillation of Sex in the City kind of message and idiots get easily taken in by it. But thenÂ that's the main purpose of idiots in this world anyway, to get taken in by various fictions.
I ultimately have a soft corner for a certain mix of feelings that one might have towards another person but it is most definitely a mix of feelings. In that mix lies romantic attraction but it is not the most important one. I think respect is equally, if not more, important. Respect not in some vague charitable sense but respect earned properly and honestly through the manifestation ofÂ some concrete qualities. So while one can be romantically attracted to all sorts of people of questionable worth, the requirement of respect serves to separate theÂ melody from the noise, the worthy from the riff-raff. In fact, the all too many stories of the various travails of people hopelessly in love fills my heart not with any sympathy for them but with contempt.Â Pure love, they say, is blind and they are right. It is also contemptible and thoroughly deserving of the misery it so often inspires. Inasmuch as Valentine's day might celebrate this balanced, restrained, and stable vision of happiness and love, I will support it. I don't think it does though.