A year ago I wrote this post on Valentines Day 2007, and upon reflection of that a year later, I feel exactly the same. Valentines Day is about the same old faces plugging the same old shit. Plain and simple. However to escape from it’s call to arms on this day every year is almost as futile as anything travelling at sub-light speed trying to escape the gravitational pull of a black hole.

The more I think about it, the more I start to believe that the spirit of Valentines Day should not be as much about love as it should be about appreciation. If we listen to all that marketing mumbo jumbo that is being blasted at us via every media communication stream that businesses can get their grubby hands on, it’s that Valentines Day is about saying “I love you”. Nothing says “I love you” like diamonds, flowers, dinners, vacations, crotchless panties…. etc etc. I mean, am I the only one that finds the concept of this so laughably ludicrous that it boggles the mind that anyone actually buys into it?

I think that if the Valentines Day marketing machine really wants to get real, then they should change their strategy to focus on appreciation. At the end of the day, most of us know whether or not we are loved. It’s easy to love because love is an emotion. Love is a feeling. It’s impossible for a feeling or emotion to be captured within the confines of a gift or experience. You don’t have to make an effort to love someone, you just do or you don’t. It either smashes into you like a freight train or grows on you like a fungas, but it’s a feeling that just has a mind of its own.

Irregardless of how a person is treated, at the end of the day, they will know for fact whether they are loved or not, irregardless of the amount of money thrown at them. Look at the women whom defend their wife beating husbands, girlfriends whom defend their deadbeat boyfriends, boyfriends whom justify the actions of their cheating no-good girlfriends, etc etc etc.

To love doesn’t take effort. Like the very air we breath, or the atoms that it’s composed of, it just is.

Love is easy
Love is blind
Love is endless
Love is kind
A diamond, a dinner, a lily or rose
These gestures of love should tingle my toes

My thanks from the heart,
But your gifts don’t say much
I don’t long for your gifts
But just for your touch

Bearing gifts or not gifts
Your love I already see
Please no more tokens of love
Fuck that, just appreciate me!

Irregardless of how well we’re treated from the day to day, we all deep down know that we’re loved. What we yearn for isn’t love, it’s actually appreciation. To know that we are not being taken for granted. To know that our efforts to please aren’t in vain. To love someone is truly a thankless task, and deep down inside we either know or hope that the recipient of that attention is aware of what we are doing for them. A home cooked meal, a lift to the where they need to go, tending to our laundry, or just our presence to keep them company. The normal, mundane, everyday tasks that we take for granted are not always done so out of duty, but can also be out of love.

Unfortunately for most of us, the concept of love has been so bastardised by society and the mainstream media that when we gloss over the time that we’ve spent with our love ones, our eyes only tend to focus on these commercial and material milestones that are nothing but false representations of what love truly is. And as such for those whom don’t receive fancy dinners, or presents, or flowers, it’s easy to feel unloved, especially for many young girls out there whom have yet to fully mature, experience the world, and realise for themselves that there is no such thing as a gift of love.

But it is my hope that there will one day be a break in that association between Valentines Day gifts, or any material goods, and “Love”. That the day will come where no longer will women receive flowers or gifts and swoon “Ohhh, he loves me so much!”. On this day, every year, if you have to celebrate it, do so but don’t tell your loved one that you love her, for I’m sure she already knows that. Tell her that you appreciate her…. because that…. is something that they may not know.

So to my darling wife Erica, you know how much I hate this fucking day and what a huge crock of commercialist bullshit that I think it is. But, it’s still an opportunity to surprise you, and to make you happy in the same way that all women have been groomed to be on this day with the right catalyst.

But I won’t tell you that I love you because you already know that and you hear it from me every day. I want to tell you that I appreciate you. Thank you for all those meals that you cook for me, from the instant noodles to your famous gourmet pies. Thank you for doing my laundry, and also for steam ironing my black shirt last night. Thank you for dropping me off at the station and picking up treats for me that you know I like when you go to the shops. Thank you for the times that you wash up after dinner, and the times that you get out of bed to turn off the lights before we sleep. Thank you for all the things you do for me that I never say thank you for but most of all, thank you always standing by my side and despite all my flaws, still loving me.

Happy Valentines Day my darling, and I hope you’re looking forward to tonight :)