Who is this Valentine? And why is the 14th of February a special day? Even though the origins of this celebration are blurry, it has become the official day to celebrate LOVE.
Walking on Picadilly street, the pink and red hearts are popping out on every shop windows reminding you that Valentine's Day is around the corner. On Burlington Arcade, I stop at Ladurée, attracted by the pinkish colours of their macarons and their pretty packaging. The window sings “amour, amour, love” as the words are waving through the glass. This year, the leader of the famous sweet delights collaborated with Nina Ricci to offer lemon-rose flavoured macarons with a raspberry jam heart, covered with gold leafs. A sweet treat that will be savoured with a loved one, or for some, will just be comforting.
You simply cannot avoid Valentine's Day. It is everywhere, pressuring you to buy. "Love is not about how much you say I love you, but how much you prove that it's true" says the display of Mango. In Europe, since we are little, the boys at school can buy flowers for their “amoureuse” (girlfriend) on the 14th of February. The apprehension of being alone that day and not receiving something comes from an early age pressure.
Men and women have very different views on Valentine's Day. When I asked around, one of my friends said she was getting attention and romance everyday, so her Valentine's Day would be like any other day. “He made me breakfast this morning” she adds. But for my other girlfriend, that day is essential: “we barely see each other because we are busy with work, so that day is an excuse to think about us and allow ourselves some romance.” While some of my boy friends “hate it”, some get carried away with champagne and diamonds.
Then comes the single clan. This one is emerging and getting more and more creative. I sometimes wonder if Valentine's Day is a celebration for lovers or single people! Dinners are organised, drinks obligatory, outfits perfectly chosen. This time, it is not about being alone remembering someone we once loved or still love, and not about thinking about the person we still haven’t met. As some people treat themselves with a new Cartier watch (yes, I saw that on Instagram!), others gather with friends and family while others party all night long. As I was talking to my teammates at Conde Nast this morning, one of them mentioned about a 'schmalentines' party where the concept is to “smash” yourself with junk food, cheesy romantic comedies and drinks.
However you are going to spend your day, whether you will be engaged by tomorrow morning or waking up from that 'schmalentines' party, Valentine's Day is here, so you might as well enjoy it!