Sibongile Mafu

Show me where Valentine's Day hurt you

2014-02-07 13:30

Sibongile Mafu

It's one of the first things they teach you at university. Your view of the world comes from a certain perspective. It may be influenced by how you grew up, who you associate with, your privilege. And you'd do well to bear that in mind when you form an opinion on things. This is difficult to accept because feeling like you're right all the time is incredibly fulfilling, but something that I try to remember when I take a stance on things.

Valentine's Day is fast-approaching and many people feel a lot of things about it. And they're not afraid to be vocal about their feelings. In a world where the display of sentiment and thoughtfulness only takes a MasterCard, a phone call and a delivery service, you understand why.

And the cries of capitalism and "it's not even a real holiday, just something Hallmark invented" will reverberate through the streets as the Bitter Bettys and Sour Siphos make sure their voices ring louder than the hoot of a new car given as a gift on Valentine's Day.

We must avoid generalising

Now, not having done a comprehensive study, I often feel that those people who have not so savoury feelings about Valentine's Day lack said Valentine. It's a cold day for those people.

But it's 2014 and we must avoid generalising. All I've mostly seen it as is a day to, as I open one of these cards, "appreciate the one you love". And this may be through an unreasonably priced gift or even a thoughtful Woolworths-sponsored picnic at an overcrowded park with people who had the same idea as you, but I rarely think any harm comes from spreading the cheer.

What is it about the middle of February that irks so many? Some say it's worse than Halloween because on Valentine's Day you see the real ugly.

But what is so problematic? Is that the thousands of businesses that see sales sky rocket because of our generosity during this time? Is it the general warm and fuzzy feelings that spread throughout the world because lots and lots of people found flowers left on their desks at work? Or is the crippling feeling of knowing that you're alone? Whatever the reason is I think the positives pretty much rock on the scissors of the negatives.

But maybe it's the expectation that swirls like a destructive hurricane and the sense that you must deliver, even if you're in a relationship with someone who "doesn't really pay attention to that kind of stuff". It's all around you and by the time the day ends and there's nothing to show for it, it could be an awkward bedtime.

Join in the fun

Humans are just conditioned like that. Even if we're not interested, if enough people are, we also want a look-in.

So I think now is the best time to just join in the fun, and spread love and thoughtfulness on that day. It may not be your significant other. It may be your mom, your sibling, maybe even your best friend.

Make someone feel your love on that day, because in a world where star athletes are charged with murdering their girlfriends and political relationships disintegrate quicker than you can say "game-changer" some good news and good feelings are always welcome.

And for that, I'm willing to pay a small fee. Anyone with a good florist's number?

- Sibongile is a videographer, blogger and social media enthusiast who would be nothing without her thumbs. Follow her on Twitter: @SboshMafu.

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