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Valentine's Day: Why Some Don't Celebrate
What's Love Got to Do With Valentine's?
Are Valentine's really celebrating love? In my opinion, the term "love" is too easily bandied about and confused with lust, deception and tyranny.
Says Simon Maugham who has spent decades in India,
"I find Indian marriages often fail, albeit often unknown to others. In India they don't speak so openly about marital failure and divorce is only for the brave. I have this brilliant woman friend who is married to a man who is pretty much jobless and now that she has been pressurized into producing a child by her in-laws and her parents, she has totally lost it.
The old ones want to see a baby before they die, but what will the arrival of that baby do to the marriage? My friend used to be the breadwinner really and now she's almost a vegetable. If husbands succeed in breaking the spirit of their wives, they are destroying that which attracted them in the first place."
Then there's the "other" woman of course, and the "other" man, both taboo in today's world. But in the Europe of the Middle Ages, says Simon, to marry didn't mean to sleep only with one's spouse. In fact, mistresses could outlast the coming and going of many wives.
It's what happened in the case of John of Gaunt, cousin to King Richard the Second who married the aristocratic nanny of his children after 30 years. "That was an abiding passion", says Simon and adds, "Life is very simple. The best Valentine you can give your wife is an assurance of your love and lifelong abiding affection. The best Valentine you can give your mistress is the diamond your wife has forgotten about."
The Idealist on Valentine's Day
Says Prasheet Sen, artist, poet and divorcee,
"I'd like my Valentine love to be eternal. I wouldn't like a transient affair that leaves you, if you're lucky, with only pleasant memories. But since I haven't found that ideal woman yet who possesses all the qualities I like, I'd rather not have any. I know that this ideal doesn't exist anyway."
Spiteful Notes on a Day Lovers Celebrate
There are those who have been sent spiteful notes from their lovers or ex lovers on Valentine's Day. Call them the Spiteful Type. This is the type that likes to leave you in the lurch on important occasions like Valentine's Day. So how do you know one if you (God forbid) ever know one?
Meet his parents. Do they seem the type who could have made him the spiteful type? Notice his tenses. This type doesn't live for the moment. He constantly speaks about what you could do together in the future. Watch his jokes. Are they at your expense or his? Are his seemingly charming and witty statements loaded with provocation and sinister insinuation?
You Have Every Right to Say No to the Valentine Hype
So if you find yourself questioning the very idea of Valentine's Day, it's a healthy sign. You're not following the mob. You're not getting tricked into parting with your money; you can utter those three little magic words any day you like. Every day can be Valentine's Day. And for Saint Valentine's sake, learn to distinguish lust from love before you get pink hearts in your eyes.