Saturday 16 December 2017

Love is for life - not just for Valentine's Day

Angela Scanlon
Angela Scanlon

Angela Scanlon

Valentine's Day. A day that makes people sick in a good way or violently cynical and unashamedly angry about the same thing: love. If you happen to be part of a couple, you will likely pour over cards describing your partner's perfect eyes or arse, their undying support and wonderful sense of humour, the cup of tea they made… A show of appreciation. A declaration of the love you feel on a good day and question on a bad one.

If you're into it, dinner will be had. You will pay double to eat the day's obligatory set menu and receive mediocre service. There will be oysters (good for sexy time) and rose-flavoured sorbet (roses are romantic flowers) and a sparkler if you're lucky.

You will pay more for a hotel room if you're so inclined, and it will be somehow a bit ridiculous. There will be fake petals and tea lights and the questionable sound of panpipes seeping through the walls. You will love each other tonight, it is the wish of the glorious Saint Valentine. You must obey!

Of course, singletons may want to go off the grid in an attempt to avoid this somewhat ridiculous Hallmark holiday. It is best not to engage in 'lonely hearts' events aimed at bleeding you dry and forcing unlikely people together. If you choose to remain in the real world, and frankly you're entitled to, you will be expected to indulge on some level, even if it makes you feel mildly nauseous or very itchy. It's like Halloween or Christmas - except it's absolutely not, but the marketeers of the world are really going for it. You are Scrooge-like unless you too don a heart-shaped badge and stir your milk with a heart-shaped, melting chocolate spoon. You are soulless and cynical.

The thing is, love is a nice thing. It's easy to capitalise on. Everyone wants it and the idea that you can control it or buy it in a pretty pink box with ribbon (for an extra euro) is a lovely thought. But that's not true.

It takes a lot of sifting to find love and it takes a lot of kneading to nurture it (I love a baking analogy). Valentine's Day is a whole lot of rubbish if the effort on the other 364 days is non-existent. Sure, a bunch of flowers is lovely, but it's even lovelier on a random wet Tuesday for no reason whatsoever. There are expectations, there is competition, there are comparisons and, for the vast majority of people, V-Day falls short precisely because, deep down, no one really believes in it… But we kind of feel we should because the chick in the office had flowers delivered and therefore someone, somewhere obviously loves her more.

Art attack

I've always been fascinated by modern art. I can appreciate a beautiful old Renaissance painting but it doesn't excite me, it doesn't make me cry or laugh or think. Though many find contemporary art repulsive and inauthentic, I love it. I am currently obsessed with the work of Sarah Lucas, with her bawdy euphemisms and erotic delights! I intend to spend a few hours exploring her filthy, wonderful mind soon.


Irish Independent

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