Paris, cité d’amour – Paris, city of love
That’s what they say anyway, that Paris is the city of love. We don’t need Valentine’s day to remind us that it is, but it seems that the Hallmark holiday mentality has hit us in full force. I have seen Valentine’s day specials in most every shop that can get away with it. Ok, chocolate shops, fine, lingerie store, of course, but why would I need to buy new shoes just because it’s supposed to be the lover’s day to celebrate love. Aren’t we the place that does it 365 days a year!?! …Doisneau captured it well…
It’s funny, when I lived on the other side of the Atlantic, V-day used to be a huge deal for me. I would get gifts, cards and flowers for those I loved, and would hope to receive some from others. It was always an organized, packaged, hyped up deal. V-day IS a big deal on the other side. If you don’t celebrate it, it seems you either are a jerk or you feel like you have to counter attack it because you are single by attending an “anti-valentine’s day party” to poo poo upon what the rest of the population is going willy nilly silly about.
Seven years ago when I first came here to live, I noticed the French didn’t make a big deal about it, (and frankly at first I objected to that) but things have gradually changed in that time, (as have my needs for something spectacular on V-day) and now there are restaurants that serve up special Valentine’s day menus (for a higher price of course), hotels that have special (higher) rates, chocolates that fly off the shelves like so many expensive jewels, oh and jewels, don’t EVEN think of not getting her a bijou for la Saint Valentin! The celebration level has gone up with the price tags, perhaps because they seem to have understood that the more you spend apparently the more you love, right?
Yeah well, I will take any occasion to tell my chéri that I love him, but I don’t need a hole in my wallet to do it. So I will tell him I love him in a way that’s better than any over priced meal, box of fancy chocolates or sexy lingerie can do… I suggested we spend Valentine’s day with his parents. Now it doesn’t get more devoted than that! Or then again maybe it’s just my self acquired Parisian attitude that refuses to be told when I am to say ‘I love you’. Either way, Valentine’s or no Valentines, I won’t miss a day to say… chéri, je t’aime!