Monday, 13 February 2012

Reclaiming Valentines Day

I should say straight off the bat I am not a huge fan of Valentines day. Of all the "seasonal" celebrations its the one most steeped in commercialism. Over the years me and Nicky Rockets have spent many a February the 14th paying over the odds to go to a restaurant only to be surrounded by bored looking couples who obviously have nothing to say to each other eavesdropping into our conversation. I also hate the way it makes people who are not "coupled up" feel on the outside, as if they are weird or missing out on something. 
This year I have decided I am going to reclaim the whole idea of Valentines and refashion it into something inclusive, meaningful and sweetly old fashioned. Here is what I intend to do:


Tell My Friends And Family That They Rock My World


I'm sure we are all guilty of taking our friends and family for granted. Lets hijack the saccharine sweet tradition of Valentines Day and use it to tell those people in your life who mean the most that if they are ever arrested they can use their free call on you. 
This doesn't have to be in card form (chances are they would find a valentines card from you a bit odd) it can be a text, an e-mail or even said over a coffee. We are British so don't labour it or we shall all be embarrassed but a swift "you are a good friend even if you refuse to "get" my love of Barbra Streisand and mock my need to have organisational 'compartments' in my handbag" is enough. 


Write My Husband A Love Letter


Pre e-mail there was a period of time when my better half and I lived in different cities. Being the sort of person who writes quite compulsively anyway I would regularly send him all kinds of letters and postcards, we found these recently and they were lovely to revisit. Rather than buy a card this year I'm going to write him a letter telling him how much he means to me. Thanking him for the fact he always gets up first and puts the heating on and makes me a cup of tea, that he never bats an eyelid when I leave fake hair lying on the stairs or throw used make up wipes at the bin and don't pick them up when I miss and most importantly of all that he believes in me and always has even when I haven't particularly believed in myself. I wont lie I will decorate this letter with felt tipped drawings of cats wearing jaunty hats  and boobies. its how I roll.


Read Something Intense And Dramatic About love.


I have a few books which I  revisit when I want to feel lifted up by the power of love. Some of these include:
Henry And June by Anais Nin


I love this book. Based on the 1930's diaries of Anais Nin whose meeting of  the famous and charismatic writer Henry Miller and his  equally captivating wife June changed her forever.
Stifled by her marriage to the dull Nin she first embarks on a passionate affair with June and then when June leaves starts an equally intense relationship with Henry which also intellectually awakens her. If ever there was a book which illustrates you can love different people for different things this is it.Its also brilliantly French and sophisticated. I like to read it wearing a beret and pretending to smoke a Gauloise but that of course is optional.


The Unbearable Lightness Of Being By Milan Kundera
The film version of this book staring Daniel Day Lewis is also worth a watch as well (Juliette Binoche rocks some fab 1960's styling)
 Set against the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia,we follow the flawed relationship of Teresa and Tomas. The theme of the book is that Teresa can not separate sex from love and  therefore suffers from the heaviness of life due to Tomas infidelities, while Tomas has many lovers despite knowing his heart belongs to Teresa so has the unbearable lightness of being. I particularly love how beautifully Kundera writes about Teresa's love of her dog Karenin. At one point when she discovers that Karenin is sick she muses that her feelings towards her pet  are purer than her love for her errant husband as the dog expects nothing back except love and gives only that in return.Played out against political turmoil its a great read and if you watch the film you will instantly want to own an old bowler hat.




 The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough 
Set in Australia in 1915, this hilarious saga chronicles the forbidden love between  beautiful, headstrong young 
Meggie and the emotionally incontinent priest Father Ralph.This was one of those books  me and my friends passed along to each other secretly when we were about fourteen along with Judy Blumes "Forever". its satisfyingly saucy and tragic and you will stay up all night reading it I guarantee.




Pampering Myself
Finally having told my loved ones they mean the world to me and indulged my inner romantic with some good old fashioned literature and  I will complete my reworked valentines day by playing Billie Holidays Songs For Distingue Lovers whilst wearing a face mask and will make a list of all the things that are actually quite cool about myself because to quote Buddha “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”






All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Betty Bee unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog.








7 comments:

  1. Brilliant, I'm gonna read that book, write my hubby a love letter for the first time and write one to myself too..... love the idea's and taking back the commercialisation from Valentines, thank you, (ps only anonymous as I can't be faffed with all the sign in :0))

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't 'get' Valentine. Why does anyone have to wait one whole year to give/receive flowers, love letters, dinner out ect ect....if you love someone you should let them know all the Time not just on the 14th Feb.
    PS I don't 'get' Mothers Day or Fathers Day either

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great ideas - and I love the vintage cards. Valentines day is not that big here, and hubby does not believe in it - he gets me flowering plants, like orchids, when he sees them (cut flowers last about 3 seconds in our heat) and does lovely things like cook dinner for the whole gang when he's just home from work and I have been too busy with kids etc.
    We are going to have a family dinner, and then a 'romantic' time when the kids are in bed!

    ReplyDelete
  4. We don't do Valentine's day. I would hate to sit in a restaurant with loads of other couples & I would give OH a real telling off for buying me over priced crap flowers! I love your ideas :) x

    ReplyDelete