Valen­tine’s Day – a day for re­la­tion­ships

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Valentine's Day - BY DEAN LAW­SON

It has come around again – that cu­ri­ous date on the cal­en­dar that prompts cou­ples around the world to de­clare their love or de­vo­tion to each other.

Yes, Fe­bru­ary 14, Valen­tine’s Day, is be­fore us and many peo­ple, from smit­ten teenagers to long-time hus­bands and wives will be ex­plor­ing ways to make a pro­found and per­sonal state­ment about their feel­ings to­wards each other.

It is amaz­ing how times have changed and in many ways how they haven’t.

As teenagers in the 1980s, the first foray into the idea of gift-giv­ing to a boyfriend or girl­friend of­ten in­volved some form of jew­elry.

Sure, it might not have been the most ex­pen­sive or dra­matic piece of bling, but much thought had to go into the se­lec­tion and for young­sters en­ter­ing the world of re­la­tion­ships it meant plenty.

While the sub­ject mat­ter por­trayed on the bracelet, neck­lace, an­klet, ring, ear­rings or other adorn­ments has changed over the years, in the early 1980s, for boys at least, signs of the zo­diac were all the rage.

Ear­lier, and again with boys, it might have been a manly shark’s tooth, per­haps ex­tracted from a ju­ve­nile fish des­tined for a fish and chip shop but sold as part of a man-eater. And the bling on show through sport­ing he­roes, es­pe­cially the West Indies crick­eters, in­flu­enced many. Some of us blokes still have a tiny gold or sil­ver cricket bat in the jew­elry cabi­net at home.

For the girls – take your pick. It was as per­plex­ing then as it is to­day.

Pewter as well as sil­ver had its turn as the metal of choice and gold was put aside un­til the re­la­tion­ship reached that next, spe­cial level.

Gem­stones cor­re­lat­ing with birth dates were of­ten an ideal choice for fe­males and re­main so to­day – even though some girls had or have to work hard to like their par­tic­u­lar stone. It’s the thought that counts.

Re­li­gious sym­bols such as cru­ci­fixes, where ap­pro­pri­ate, have also been a good stan­dard.

Fash­ions

When it comes to high-value as well as trin­ket jew­elry, the fash­ions and trends have ebbed and flowed – at least from the ob­ser­va­tions of a layper­son.

We now see ev­ery­thing from me­dieval and Celtic sym­bol­ism to clever, mod­ern and ob­scure, en­graved and sub­tle de­signs.

Bulky, pe­tite, bright or un­der­stated – we now have it all at our fin­ger­tips.

For many men, pick­ing out jew­elry for a loved one is a tough call. Do they reach into their soul to ex­pose their fem­i­nine side and take a risk when they make the de­ci­sion to se­ri­ously con­sider what’s in the jew­eler’s win­dow?

Or as a 21st Cen­tury male do they sim­ply make a call on what they be­lieve is a good fit for their loved one?

Or, of course, do they take the easy way out – the way that takes the ro­man­tic edge off the idea of Valen­tine’s Day and is all very or­gan­ised– let their part­ner choose a piece of sparkle?

For many, the act of re­ceiv­ing and giv­ing a Valen­tine’s Day gift is only a small part of the oc­ca­sion which rep­re­sents a much deeper and more valu­able gift – each other.

The more cyn­i­cal among us ar­gue that Valen­tine’s Day is lit­tle more than an overt com­mer­cial op­por­tu­nity that forces peo­ple through guilt to spend money.

But re­ally, Valen­tine’s Day is what­ever we want it to be and why not use it as an oc­ca­sion to cel­e­brate re­la­tion­ships?

In a per­fect world, Valen­tine’s Day is a re­flec­tion of ev­ery day that cou­ples are to­gether.

If we some­times need an an­nual re­minder of what re­la­tion­ships are all about and if that is the role the oc­ca­sion can play, then it can only be good.

PRE­CIOUS: Skye Law­son from Prouds The Jewellers in Hor­sham dis­plays some items that might make ideal Valen­tine’s Day gifts. Pic­ture: DEAN LAW­SON

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