Music ‘n Musings

Valetine's Day has lost its meaning

Music 'n Musings

If I’m being honest, I’m kind of over this whole Valentine’s Day thing. I don’t mean the part where you shower your valentine in love and affection and make them feel special, because who doesn’t like to gas up their significant other? The thing about Valentine’s Day and the weeks preceding it that annoys me is how mainstream and stereotypical it has become.

The garishly-pink displays in grocery stores, the cheap stuffed animals, the Valentine’s Day themed candy, it all seems so hokey, so overplayed that it deflates what Valentine’s Day is really about. The way that stores try to capitalize on Valentine’s Day and love and wanting to make your significant other feel cherished is so far removed from the way Valentine’s Day is actually celebrated by the average person. “Words of Love” by The Mamas & The Papas sheds a sort of light on the way that stores and marketing campaigns for Valentine’s Day usually miss the mark.

The song is an upbeat appeal to avoid the cliche, singing, “Words of love, so soft and tender, won’t win a girl’s heart anymore.” Instead, John Phillips, the man who penned the lyrics, says, “If you love her then you must send her somewhere where she’s never been before.” In other words, if you really want to show someone you love them, you ought to do something for them that is specially catered for them. This relatively self-explanatory concept is something I think companies just don’t understand.

Every person in every relationship has their own special way of showing love to their significant other on Valentine’s Day. It can be from going on special dates and splurging on expensive gifts or restaurants or as simple as buying a bouquet of roses and chocolates every year. Whatever way you choose to display your love is perfect because it is your own. But I think it’s a lot harder to find more original ideas in today’s mainstream definition of what Valentine’s Day is. Social media posts make it seem like you have to go full out and plan an elaborate date if you really want your boyfriend or girlfriend to know you love them, which isn’t true. The valentines that are handed out to people usually use the same old “worn out phrases” that Phillips complains about in the song. It all just seems so cliche.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day the way you see fit. If you want to go full out, go full out and enjoy it. If you want to keep it lowkey and simple, go ahead. Don’t feel like you have to fit this projected image of what a “perfect” Valentine’s Day looks like. Buying flowers or not buying flowers doesn’t mean anything about the love you have for a person. As long as it’s personal and makes your partner feel loved, it’s perfect.