I love Valentine’s Day, OK? And I reject all your dismissals of it, I just do. Your arguments are simply not valid. You will say, “But Esther, it’s just commercialism.” Or, “But Esther, we ought to show our love for each other all year round, not only on this arbitrary day.” And, “But Esther, Valentine’s Day is so terrible if you are single.”
In response I will say this: it’s not just commercialism. Yes, all shops everywhere like to take Valentine’s
Day seriously – but this is not a crime! We live in a free market (or we do for the moment, anyway).
Yes, I agree that we ought to show our love for each other every day of the year and not only on this day – but the fact is we don’t. And, moreover, what if you’re not very good at expressing affection?
What if you are one of those people who sits across from their partner at the breakfast table thinking “I really love you” but somehow the words
never quite make it out of your mouth and into the ear of your beloved?
I am one of those people. I love my husband so much. He’s the best. Do I tell him? Erm, I just sort of forget to and assume that he can interpret my love from the thoughtful things I do like finding his phone and bringing him cups of tea.
This makes me sound like a golden retriever and I’m OK with that. Pets can’t verbalise their love either, so
they have to express themselves with gifts of old slippers and dead birds.
But then Valentine’s Day comes along and it’s sort of a free pass. I can buy a card and a mug and a teddy bear holding a plastic heart saying ‘I wuv you’ and I can remember not to forget to say it. The pressure is somehow off, because it’s on. Does that make sense? Don’t answer that.
Photographer: Jonty Davies / Stylist: Chloe Forde / Make-up: Karina Constantine
Hair stylist: Bjorn Krischker / Manicurist: Emma Welsh