Valentine’s Day is problematic and we need to talk about it

Tomorrow is the 14th of February and it is again time for that rather exclusionary celebration of ‘love’ – or rather the marketer’s fantasy of what love should look like in a world guided by the pursuit of financial boon. 

Indeed ‘Valentine’s Day’ – as the secular like to call it – is devoid of much of the meaning attached to the historical accounts of the Catholic saint from which the celebration originates. 

In this writer’s opinion, the modern take on the traditional feast day is dangerously close to wanton appropriation of Catholic culture. 

Undoubtedly, all around the island, addled romeos will be buying overpriced bouquets of red roses and Butlers will likely be sold out of their iconic velvety red love heart shaped boxes of chocolate.

My own dear mammy is likely buying one for me at this very moment. What better way to express affection for a largely sedentary creature like myself than to fill me with refined sugars. 

 Not so long ago I noticed that a trip to Lidl had resulted in me buying two items strongly symbolic of female singleness: red wine and cat food. 

That’s all I left with and to add insult to injury the cat on the receiving end of the food isn’t even mine: he visits my house, I feed him, then he leaves. 

Since then the dressing of shop windows and product displays has caused a reaction in my mind that I can only compare to what many call ‘triggering’. 

In Ireland concerns about being ‘inclusive’ – and I’m sure the avoidance of horrid indiscretions like causing others to be triggered –  led to this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day festival line up preview looking more akin to a pride parade than a day to celebrate our patron saint and all things Irish. 

We are constantly reminded by the annual plastering of the country in lgbtqia inclusivity flags that we shouldn’t upset people or lead them to feel excluded because of things like sexuality or gender identity.

It is also the view of the Department of Justice that we need hate speech laws to curb our inherent racism and intolerance from spilling forth and to ensure that those from different ethnic and religious backgrounds don’t become the recipients of hurt feelings.

When so much effort has been made in the name of making people feel safe and accepted, why not go that extra mile for those who may not be going for a candlelit dinner tomorrow evening? 

A singleton such as myself might find it very difficult to participate in the ‘fun’ and ‘romance’ of Valentine’s Day – receiving cards obviously in my mother’s handwriting signed from ‘guess who’ doesn’t fool me anymore… 

This writer feels that thousands of innocent people being excluded from an annual celebration foisted upon them against their will due to circumstances beyond their control is downright ‘problematic’. 

For this reason I propose that this grossly exclusionary annual celebration be relegated to Ireland’s dark past.


P.S Heavy use of sarcasm throughout.

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