Thursday, February 11, 2010

Down With Love!

Apparently a primary school in Weston-super-Mare has banned Valentine's cards in order to save pupils the emotional trauma of being rejected. At long last someone is taking a stand against this dreadful annual ordeal! For years now I've been decrying the evils of Valentine's day. It really does seem designed solely to victimise single people. Year after year we have to put up with being characterised as sad losers and have other people's 'happiness' shoved down our throats. Now, I know that you are going to say that if I was in a relationship I'd feel differently about. Except that I wouldn't. It isn't just the stigmatising of single people that I dislike, it is the whole artificial image of 'romance' which St Valentine's day promotes. The whole thing implies that the route to true happiness lies only through materialism - flowers, expensive gifts, etc. The sickliness of this version of romance is enough to put many of us off of love for life. So, far from being 'political correctness gone mad', as I'm sure the media will label this story, the school in question's admirable action is a first step to prevent kids being indoctrinated with this commercialised version of 'romance' from an early age.

All of which brings us back to the notion, which Valentine's day seems to promote, that being single is somehow abnormal. For years I suspected that there was something wrong with me because I always seemed to end up unattached. However, I finally realised that being single is my natural state. I like being on my own. I enjoy my own company and most definitely need my own space. I like the freedom of action it brings me, the fact that I can pretty much do as I please. Don't misunderstand me - I'm not opposed to the concept of having a relationship with a significant other. It is just that I prefer such relationships to be semi-detached. I don't need to be with someone constantly. I don't need to define my identity in terms of such a relationship. Distance brings breathing space. Much better than the cloying fake closeness Valentine's day annually promotes - is it any wonder so many relationships in this country founder if they take that as their guide?



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