My parents got married on Valentine’s Day over twenty-five years ago. Growing up Valentine’s Day was always a day of love, romantic gestures and happiness. My brother and I would spend a considerable amount of time looking for an anniversary present and when we were younger, we’d often go out on a family meal. I yearned to have a partner who would buy me cuddly toys, take me out for meals and buy each other silly cards as my parents did for each other.
Fast forward to my present: my parents have been separated for over five years now, both of them are moving forward with their lives and Valentine’s Day has come to symbolise something very different to each of us.
If you are in the Western world, we all are notified of Valentine’s Day shortly after the Christmas decorations come down. People need something to get them through the cold, harsh month of January and gift shops need to pay their employers. As you walk along any UK high street throughout January you are assaulted by love hearts, cupids and fairy lights – luring you to buy your loved one anything from a ridiculous stuffed toy, to a pair of earrings worth hundreds of pounds – all in the name of love. Tables at any decent restaurant are booked up months in advance at even the most dilapidated establishments have the gall to charge you double for the same plate of pasta. But anything in the name of love, right?