All you need is love

Living up to a romantic ideal: a 1944 cover of the Mirror

Ideals of love and romance: a 1944 cover of the Mirror (click for image credit)

You may have noticed that it was Valentine’s Day on Saturday. And no doubt on that happy occasion you were showered with bunches of red roses bought at an insanely inflated price, heart-shaped silver helium balloons bearing questionable messages, and teddy bears. Lots of teddy bears, possibly with pink or white fur, possibly clutching stuffed satin hearts embroidered with one of the aforesaid messages (‘I wuv you!’).

The custom of sending Valentines anonymously (oh god – was that card actually from Trevor in Policy?!) doesn’t seem to have caught on in New Zealand, but the rest of it has taken root and blossomed most fulsomely in recent years.

Romantic love is the kind of love that everyone goes on about, the kind of love extolled on Valentine’s Day, but actually, love comes in all kinds of varieties, some of them much underrated. You can – should! – love your friends, your family, your pets. Your neighbours, as famously suggested by Jesus. (I have great neighbours.) Your work, your creative life, the trees in your garden, the mountains you look out on from your front porch, the speeding view of fields on your train commute to work. You might love God, or food, or music, or – I don’t know – the brutalist architecture of the 1970s.

I looked for love on Te Ara, so to speak, and found the following:

Happy Valentine’s Day – or, if you’re really over it, you might want to try celebrating Singles’ Awareness Day instead.

2 comments have been added so far

  1. Comment made by David || February 16th, 2015

    Anonymous Valentine’s cards may not have caught on here, but I did receive one back in the day. That it was from a neighbour was suggested by the lack of a stamp or postmark on the envelope. The alternative possibility, that my secret admirer had travelled across town late at night to hand-deliver her message, was just a bit too close to being stalked to contemplate….

  2. Comment made by Julia || February 16th, 2015

    Chocolate. That’s what I was showered with on Valentine’s Day. Not the kinky kind to be painted on a body, that was so fashionable in the 90s. But a selection of gorgeous chocolates inside a larger chocolate love heart. Love is sweet.

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