I know it’s pretty standard nowadays to hate Valentines Day, and don’t get me wrong: its not that I don’t partake in it, I just hate how centred it is around female-male relationships. If Valentine’s Day was centred around love as a concept, about friendships, siblings, parents and every other bond, it would probably be my favourite day of the year.
I’ve not really been one to ever let myself be overly emotional about relationships, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to barrel full-force into oversized valentines day cards, stuffed bears carrying hearts and triumphantly pull out and a box of chocolates and say THIS IS IT. THIS IS THE ONE.
Instead, I politely ask you to head to the shop and join me in my silent revolution. Buy two cards. The most important thing about these cards is that they have to be under £1 each, and they have to be the least tacky ones there. I am so aware of how hard it is to find a nice Valentine’s card, but my personal favourite is any Valentine’s day card that has a dinosaur on it with a cringe joke like “I’m so happy you exist” or “If I was a t-rex I wouldn’t eat you”.
I am well aware that so far we have politely and gracefully delivered a pretty penny straight into a big company’s back pocket, however, here comes the revolt.
Let us open our favourite card, gently flatten the spine against the table, and write “Dear me”. I sense I may have lost you, but please, let’s focus on our revolution.
Valentine’s Day is a day that celebrates a limited form of love: I invite you to extend that love to yourself. I’ll give you a prompt in case you’re stuck:
“Dear me, thank you for…”
Whatever comes to mind, write it down. Neatly, because someone very important is going to read this (even if they might already know what what the card says). I imagine you to write reams and reams of reasons you are grateful for yourself, because there are so many, but I will settle for at least 3. If you’re really stuck I’ll give you one: “Dear me, thank you for carrying our body and mind through the pandemic”.
Once you have tucked away your card back into it’s envelope (it’s okay if you feel a bit silly), move onto your next card. Pick it up, don’t forget to take the price off (it would be a bit frustrating if our lovely person worked out we are cheapskates). Run your finger down the spine, and write to a person who has made your life better.
This can be someone who is not with us anymore, someone you take for granted everyday, someone you haven’t spoken to in years, a best friend, a brother, a dog, a cat, a stranger who wore their mask correctly, or the creator of chocolate spread.
Express your gratitude. Feel that love spread down your arm, into the pen, and seal it into your card. You may feel a little bit silly, it’s quite hard expressing our gratitude for people. Write their address and send it to them.
The reason for this revolution is a simple one. In a world that strives so much to compare each other to impossible standards, show yourself compassion. In a world which thrives on people not liking themselves; show yourself love. Put your card in a place that you can find it when you needed to be reminded of the fact youre wonderful. You will be amazed what reading words like that will do if you ever really need to hear them.
The second card serves to show us that we are not alone, but as well as this, it is worth the smile and joy that your card will bring to the heart of someone else. That is true love: trying to bring happiness without the anticipation of anything in return.
I really, really hope at least one of you will take part in this. Be ready for love, and be ready to give love.
The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself. We all know this, but not all of us realise this. I know that I would much rather have a best friend than a jailor living in my head.
You are so loved.
P.S I know this post has gone up only one day before Valentines: if you choose to participate, you’ll just have to use the excuse that post must have been slow due to covid and the pandemic. However, no excuses not to write yourself a card because I have a sneaky feeling that one will get to its destination before the 14th.
PPS: If you feel silly, that’s because you’re wondering things like “what if someone finds this”, “this is stupid” and I remind you that this is a revolution. Take back power for yourself.